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KP govt seeks Rs5.8bn arrears from centre for budget support

Bureau Report 2014-05-20
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has complained about denial of the Rs132 billion net hydel profit, including the principal amount, mark-up and arrears, by the federal government and demanded urgent payment of Rs5.8 billion to help it make budgetary allocations.

Chairing a meeting of the working group on finance here on Monday, provincial finance minister Sirajul Haq said not only the National Finance Commission would be contacted for the sought-after payments but also the political and national leaders would be invited to a platform to raise the collective voice against the federal government`s unfair attitude towards the province.

According to a handout issued here, the minister said the net hydel profit was payable to the provinces according to the AGN Kazi`s Committee formed in 1986 and that was duly approved by the Council of Common Interest in January 1991.

He said Wapda began payment on account of net hydel profit and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had been in the receipt of Rs6 billion (capped) per annum since 1991-92.

Mr Haq regretted that Wapda had been very irregular in payment of the capped amount of Rs6 billion to the province for two years in deviation of its constitutional obligation.

He said the province had received Rs5.2 billion of the previous financial year 2012-13 during the current financial year, whereas no payment had so far been received for the current 2013-14.

The minister regretted that due to the poor law and order situation during the last many years, not only the province was facing financial issues but also its whole infrastructure was almost destroyed.

`At this stage, the `step motherly` treatment of the centre with the province is not a good omen,` he said.

The meeting, where finance secretary Badshah Bukhari and all members of the working group were in attendance, also approved the start of Islamic micro-finance banking and issued necessary directives to the Bank of Khyber for the purpose.

It demanded of the federal government to direct Wapda to pay Rs5.8 billion urgently to the province so that it could fix its budgetary allocations.

Mr Haq said the centre had to pay Rs132 billion, including mark up and arrears of post arbitration period which was a big amount.

The meeting also reviewed certain proposals for improvement in public management, including provincial taxation and public expenditure reforms.

It also discussed reforms in education and health and provision of funds to seminaries in the next budget.

The meeting took note of the malpractices in the accounting system and called for improvement in it.

It also discussed certain amendments to the existing rules for the postings of provincial and federal account officers to district offices.