Dead Board needs burial!

Swindling public funds in the name of running government projects has always been a black spot on the performance of decision makers and subsequently the general masses have to pay the price in terms of economic problems, rising trends of official corruption, mismanagement, swallow of huge budgets, nepotism, favouritism, etc. The current dilapidated situation of Livestock and Dairy Development Board Islamabad is the best but worst example of this devastating approach. Though this Board, established during the Musharraf era with the purpose to promote the livestock sector, in initial years was a good experience, yet those assigned to run this Board during the successor government not only squandered the public funds but also took it to the dead level. Since the 2009, the Board has been dumped in the premises of National Agriculture Research Council with no operations while its assets like vehicles, bikes and other equipments, which were bought with the hard-earned public money, are either rusting or in the regular misuse of irrelevant officials who are relishing on it without any fearing of being accountable for this wrong. The main victim of this height of mismanagement is nothing but the livestock and dairy sector which received a big blow. All research and development activities of this sector have come to a halt; now one can just dream of any new initiative that could bring a positive change for livestock or dairy farming. Though additional (ceremonial) charge of the Board has recently been given to Federal Secretary for National Food Security and Research Taiur Azmat and Aslam Chouhan has taken the charge as its Chief Executive, yet it is now too late as no concern has so far been shown to take any initiative for its revival. It is highly painful to see the ultimate fate of such departments or institutions only due to the shallow or corrupt approach on the part of the decision makers. However, it would be a sane decision if the authorities wrap up this Board without any further delay as its staff – about 45 members – are non-operational, rather acute financial burden on the national exchequer. The cash-starved government can no more afford this financial burden while on the other side its further continuation would be acute injustice to the livestock and dairy sector. Pakistan is an agrarian country and livestock has a significant contribution to the GDP especially meeting food requirements. The decision makers need to take sane steps so that this sector is properly regulated and yields the required results.

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