SC accepts Balochistan govt appeal regarding development projects

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted the Balochistan government appeal against the high court order regarding development projects in the province.

A three-member SC bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Munib Akhtar heard the case.

The court stayed the implementation of the restriction of allocating 33% funds for development projects.

The court also directed the Balochistan government to submit complete record of PC-1 documents of development projects.

The court also sought documentary evidence from Leader of Opposition in Balochistan Assembly Malik Sikandar Khan over objections on the development plans.

The Advocate General Balochistan said that implementing sub-section 2 of section 16 of the Balochistan Financial Management Act would halt ongoing projects.

He said that 33% of the cost must be allocated in the budget at the time of approval of each project under sub-section 2 of section 16.

Justice Munib Akhtar asked why was this not taken into account while approving the budget?

Justice Bandial said that the Balochistan government was of the view that the Act would be implemented from the next budget.

The Advocate General said that the Balochistan government spent 56% of its budget on development projects for the first time in the country’s history.

He said that PC-1 for all projects was prepared. The plan to hold the National Games in Balochistan was 80 percent completed, he added.

He said that the the National Games were delayed due to Corona virus.

Justice Bandial said that the court had to review the legal aspects of development projects as different forums were available for the rest of the objections.

He said that it was also alleged that no funds were allocated for development projects in Balochistan. It was also alleged that the funds went into few pockets, he added.

He advised the provincial government to restore people’s trust.

Justice Bandial said that a lot of money was wasted on public development projects due to the situation in Balochistan.

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal said that the provincial government had spent Rs 30 billion in Quetta alone. The provincial government had pulled out 2,000 projects from PSDP, he added.

Later, hearing of the case was adjourned till date in office.

Talking to media outside SC, Jam Kamal said that there should be transparency in elections and therefore he supported open ballot.

He said that a case regarding PSDP was pending in the apex court. “We have made reforms to the PSDP in the last two years”, he added.

He said that the high court had imposed restrictions on PSDP.

He said that the apex court gave relief to the provincial government against the high court order.