City Gets Over Rs 3b Subsidy On Sasti Roti
Under the Sasti Roti scheme, the amount of subsidy given to the provincial metropolis was higher than that of any other district during the last two fiscal years.
The official data shows that the government spent Rs 2.026 billion in fiscal year 2009-10 and Rs 1.08 billion in nine months of fiscal year 2008-09 on Sasti Roti subsidy in Lahore, the highest among the all districts of Punjab. Ironically, the city got higher subsidy amount than any other district of the southern Punjab, the region virtually ignored by the governments, leaving it underdeveloped as compared with the provincial metropolis and the central districts.
In the fiscal year 2008-09, the government spent Rs 2.55 billion subsidy in nine months on Sasti Roti project, whereas, in 2009-10, the amount went up to Rs 6.350 billion. According to the data, the government spent Rs 2.373 billion subsidy on Sasti Roti project in Lahore division during 2009-10 while it spent only Rs 218 million and Rs 295 million in D G Khan and Bahawalpur divisions respectively. The amount of subsidy on in Lahore, Rs 2.026 billion, is higher than twice the total the amount of subsidy of both D G Khan and Bahawalpur divisions i.e. Rs 513 million.
In fiscal year 2008-09, the government spent Rs 1.26 billion in Lahore division and Rs 81 million and Rs 117 million in D G Khan and Bahawalpur divisions respectively.
Despite spending a huge amount of subsidy on the scheme in the metropolitan, sasti roti was not available in most of the city areas. There are only a few tandoors whereas the roti is available all the time. An official of the Sasti Roti scheme said the subsidy amount received by Lahore was the highest among all districts because its population was larger than any other provinceís. However, he admitted that there was some pilferage of funds in the distribution of floor under the scheme. He also admitted that the poverty rate in the southern Punjab was higher than in Lahore. But, he added, population was the criterion of distribution of funds.
In Rawalpindi division, Rs 1.346 billion was spent during 2009-10 and Rs 412 million in 2008-09. The government provided Rs 615 million subsidy to Gujranwala division during 2009-10 and Rs 177 million in 2008-09. Faisalabad division got Rs 593 million subsidy during the last fiscal year and Rs 223 million in 2008-09.
Similarly, the government spent Rs 212 million in Sargodha division on the scheme in 2009-10 and Rs 89 million in 2008-09. The Multan division received Rs 442 million in 2009-10 and Rs 113 million in 2008-09. The government spent Rs 256 million in Pakpattan division in 2009-10. Though the division did not exist in fiscal year 2008-09, after adding up the subsidy amount of three districts of the division in 2008-09, it received an amount of Rs 102 million as subsidy.