Developmental Funds: A Legalized Way of Corruption - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

According to various media reports not long ago, the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan has given a highly appreciable and historical remark. He said that presently the government is being run on political grounds rather than on merit. We cannot leave it to go like this, and if any vacuum exists, the Supreme Court will interfere and perform its duty to safeguard the rights of the people (or the words to that effect). In pursuance of this policy, he has recently visited the two top hospitals of Lahore along with the Chief Secretary of Punjab.

In this connection I have to submit respectfully that, in the presence of the corrupt people all around, visiting the institutions will never prove useful. The present chaotic situation is due to the corrupt and incompetent persons working in the government and as heads of these institutions. They can easily make temporary arrangements for such visits with no useful lasting results. If it is desired that these institutions should work appropriately, then the first thing to do is to eliminate such corrupt and incompetent persons and punish them on priority basis.

There are large numbers of items in my mind in which immediate action of the Supreme Court is required. I may send them later one by one. At the moment I am highlighting one of the major issues which has started corruption at the topmost level and legalized it.

It has become customary in Pakistan that the ruling party, just to keep the members of its party happy and loyal to the party, distribute funds in the name of development. Initially this amount used to be in tens of millions of rupees for each member, which has jumped to hundreds of millions in recent times. Everybody knows that only a tiny part of these funds is spent just to show off the developmental work in progress and a major chunk is misappropriated and goes into the pockets of the members. That is the reason that, in spite of allocating billions and billions of rupees in the budget, no development is seen in the country as a whole, except at the selected sites of the ruling elites, with the result that a common man keeps facing hardships in the absence of the facilities such as education, health and clean drinking water. Apart from this, developmental funds are announced in the public gatherings and free laptops worth hundreds of millions of rupees are distributed without any provision in the budget just to attract people vote for their party. Distribution of funds in this way is a clear case of bribery which is being practiced openly and no authority has ever taken any notice of it.

There are large numbers of statutory bodies in Pakistan which are responsible for carrying out developmental and other works. These funds should be spent through these bodies and audited properly. I request the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan to take immediate action to stop these practices by declaring this type of distribution of funds illegal.

Posted on Dec 20, 17 | 11:43 pm