PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet in its maiden meeting on Wednesday decided to abolish the much-publicised Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) and decided to strengthen the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to fight corruption.
Briefing reporters after the meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government spokesperson Shaukat Yousafzai and Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem Jhagra argued that since the NAB and KPEC functioned for the same purpose so there was no need for the Ehtesab Commission.
Asked as to why the previous PTI government had established the anti-graft body, Shaukat Yousafzai and Taimur Saleem Jhagra argued that the KPEC was established as the federal government was not cooperating with the PTI government.
Both the minister and spokesperson for the government avoided giving details as to how much money was spent on the establishment of KPEC and how many corrupt were punished by it.
They maintained that the establishment of the KPEC could not be termed a waste of time or money because it worked a lot. “Now the PTI has formed the government at the Centre so NAB would cooperate with the provincial government,” they added.
Shaukat Yousafzai asserted that the KPEC had done a lot to bring an end to corrupt practices. To justify the abolition of the KPEC, the finance minister in his counter argument said that it was like when a TV channel decided to wind up a programme but the journalists wanted the management to continue it. They said the cabinet had endorsed the 100-day agenda of Prime Minister Imran Khan and enforce a monitoring system to purge the institutions of corrupt elements.
Reiterating their commitment to come up to the expectations of people, Shaukat Yousafzai lauded the federal government for launching the plantation drive across the country. He said the cabinet meeting vowed to complete mega projects initiated by the previous PTI government, including the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
The spokesman said the people acknowledged the performance of the previous provincial government by voting it into power again.
Shaukat Yousafzai added the cabinet reviewed water problems and decided to improve the existing system particularly the agricultural sector. He said the cabinet had decided to review the performance of the government after 10 days and vowed to overcome the problems within next five years.
The spokesman claimed the government has made proper preparation for the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting and would reduce unnecessary government expenditures for the welfare of common man.
He said Peshawarites supported the PTI and would soon restore prestige of this centuries-old city.
Asked about provincial government’s decision on austerity drive, Shaukat Yousafzai said they would follow decisions and policy of the federal government. He asked the media to give the government some time and the PTI government would improve financial position of the province and get all its constitutional rights from the federal government.
The spokesman said the people would see visible changes in working of all government departments. He parried questions from journalists seeking details of the loans that the previous PTI government had obtained during the last five years. Instead the spokesman said the government would improve the performance and concentrate on improving revenue resources instead of getting loans.
Earlier, addressing the cabinet meeting on the 100 days plan of the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan called for discouraging all types of commissions, strengthening the public sector institutions, improving their capacity for an efficient delivery.
The chief minister said the merger of seven districts of the erstwhile Fata had brought along new challenges such as infrastructure development, efficient services and extension of existing institutions to the newly merged districts and mainstreaming these new districts.
He said the government was planning to extend the Sehat Insaf Card to all the deserving living under the poverty lines.
The chief minister directed the health minister to have a meeting with the Secretary Health and elected representatives for the continuity of Sehat Insaf Card model, entering the deserving poor left out in the data and excluding the non-deserving.
He said the Local Government System would be strengthened to focus on the resolution of people problems and make efficient delivery at the local level.