RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) is currently experiencing a financial crisis as its expenses have increased significantly compared to its income sources.
This has resulted in the suspension of payments to contractors for the completion of development work and supply of goods to the cantonment store, which has negatively impacted the development schemes.
The elected members of the board are also facing criticism from the public for not being able to solve issues of public importance.
To address the financial difficulties, the Cantonment Executive Officer has implemented a policy to minimize expenditure in the institution.
However, the RCB’s revenue has been severely affected by the ongoing national economic crisis and the reduction in construction work and real estate property transactions.
The recovery of property tax is also below the set target, which is further affecting the board’s revenue generation.
According to sources, the board is spending a significant amount on employee medical claims, advance and utility services, and the water supply system, in addition to expenses for salaries, pensions, POL, electricity charges, and solid waste transfer.
As a result, elected members have reported that development works approved in their respective constituencies are not being carried out, leading to difficulties for residents in areas lacking streetlights.
The RCB has not received any grants from the federal or provincial governments for a year, compounding the board’s financial woes.
Cantonment Executive Officer Imran Gulzar has acknowledged the financial difficulties faced by the RCB but is optimistic that the situation will improve in June.
He noted that the board would start paying contractors from Eid Ul Fitr and that development schemes approved in the last board meeting were being worked upon.
While property tax recovery in March, April, and May has not been encouraging, Gulzar expects a high recovery in June to clear all dues.