Forest royalty holders from district Chitral have expressed concerns over unnecessary delay in royalty payments and demanded for immediate issuance of royalty withheld by Forest Development Corporation (FDC) for last several months.
Addressing at a press conference here at Press Club on Thursday, Chairman, Joint Forest Management Committee Network, (JFMC-Network), Major Ahmad Saad (Retd) said that the FDC had yet to be issued royalty payments in forest areas in district Chitral. He said the delaying tactics was created greater unrest among the royalty holders, demanding for revival of previous payment disbursement system.
Flanked by royalty holders and resident from forest areas of district Chitral, Saad alleged that officials of FDC had deposited royalty payments in personal account to use for their own purpose and gain interest from it. He said the FDC has become a redundant institution, which was failed to gain its objectives and work merely as contractor in Chitral.
He demanded for carrying out inquiry against the acting Managing Director of FDC and other officials over delaying in disbursement of royalty payments for last several months. He added that the unnecessary stoppage of royalty amount was tantamount to deprive locals from their legitimate rights. The authority should immediate issue royalty cheques, he demanded.
“We will not tolerate any deceptive ways to deprive royalty holders from their legitimate right”, he warned. Saad further said that the most of forest populated areas totally dependent on royalty, because none of other source of income generation, whereas the forest localities also lacked adequate health and education, and other livelihood facilities. He demanded for immediate release of the royalty cheques to holders hailing from forest areas in district Chitral, and should also revive old disbursement payments.