Written by Abul Hakam Jan
Undoubtedly, visible impressions of improvement are salient in some departments of KPK Government.
The performance of police department, which was not very bad even before, has further improved. Positive change is seen in the education department with particular reference to female education. The condition of the hospitals has improved to a certain standard. But for unknown reasons, the core issue of corruption in other public work departments still seems to be as it was. I do not intend to blame the officials working in such departments for the huge corruption, rather I blame the working system over there, which itself is so corrupt that even a man of great piety who falls into it, can not escape himself from this sin of national doom.
One defective aspect of the working system is the lack of education on the part of the contractor. Education is not considered as necessary part of the criteria (if there is any) to become a contractor. For this reason, many of the contractors can hardly read or write and do not know the technical aspects of their work, therefore always fall needy to the officials of the department for help who rightfully demand reward for their support. This practice gives way to larger corruption ahead. Another flaw with the working system is the permission to single handed delivery of contracts. Obviously a single person, often illiterate, can easily be exploited as compare to a group of people. There are examples of such solo workers to be acquiescent to the exploitation and not to persevere even for their due rights.
Untimely, late and centralized provision of developmental fund also seems to be a tacit permission for corruption. Most often, huge amounts of developmental funds are given to user departments just two or one and a half months before 30th June, the end of each financial year , which is, admittedly, not possible for the user to consume by 30th June . Return of the fund is considered as inefficiency on the part of the user and causes his explanation. Therefore, very often it is the compulsion of the user to draw the fund from the treasury through bogus bills by 30th June and deposit in the banks for later use to complete the work under construction. This is corruption. Sometimes, contractors are very lately paid for their work done.
The govern of PTI, if sincere, is expected to remove the drawbacks of the working system in public work departments through legislation to eradicate the curse of corruption.
As a first step small and medium size developmental fund should be given direct to Local Support Organizations (LSOs) existing throughout the district of Chitral for further disbursement to Societies under each LSO who to undertake the work as project rather than a contract. The head of the society should lead the work as project leader rather than a contractor and rest of the members should act as project members. Education up to a certain level must be considered as compulsory both for the project leader and other members.
Written by Abul Hakam Jan