Minister expresses concern over delay in the payment of Rs.132 billion

Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Sirajul Haq has expressed concern over delay in the payment of Rs.132 billion net hydel profit including the principal amount, mark up and arrears by the federal government and stated that not only the National Finance Commission would be approached in this connection but also the political and national leaders would be called to a platform to raise collective voice against this step-motherly treatment of the federal government with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He was chairing a meeting of the working group on the Finance Department at the committee room of civil secretariat, Peshawar on Monday. Secretary Finance Syed Badshah Bukhari and all the members of the working group were present on the occasion.

The meeting also approved starting of Islamic micro-finance banking and issued necessary directives to the Bank of Khyber in this regard. The minister finance regretted that due to poor law and order situation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during the last many years, not only the province was facing financial issues but its whole infrastructure and been given a serious setback and at this stage the step motherly treatment of the centre with it was not a good omen.

Sirajul Haq said the net hydel profit was payable to the provinces according to the AGN Kazi’s Committee constituted in 1986 and was approved by the Council of Common Interests in January 1991.

He said WAPDA started payment on account of NHP and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was in the receipt of Rs. 6 billion (capped) per annum since 1991-92. He regretted that WAPDA had been very irregular in payment  of the capped amount of Rs.6 billion to the province for the last two years in deviation of its constitutional obligation.

The minister said that the province had received Rs. 5.2 billion of the previous financial year 2012-13 during the current financial year whereas no payment had been received for the current year 2013-14 so far.

The meeting demanded of the federal government to direct the WAPDA to pay Rs. 5.8 billion urgently so that the province could fix its budgetary allocations. The minister disclosed that the centre had to pay Rs. 132 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 debated reforms in education and health and provision of funds to the deeni madaris in the coming budget.

The meeting also took notice of the malpractices in the accounting system and stated that it needed improvement. It also discussed certain amendments in the postings of provincial and federal account officers in the district offices.

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