Fawad says availability of discretionary funds to chief ministers against public interest

Web Desk
January 17, 2020

Fawad Chaudhry says chief ministers in charge of unfair allocation of funds to districts across provinces

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Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry. Photo: File

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said the availability of discretionary funds to chief ministers was "against public interest" and a violation of Article 140-A of the Constitution.

Chaudhry's comments came amid reports of him not being happy with the Punjab government. According to Geo News, Chaudhry said that the problem was not limited to the Punjab province, but stemmed from unfair allocation of development funds.

“The problem is of the distribution of funds, and not of Punjab government,” Chaudhry said in a post on Twitter.. He added that the dispensation of funds at the discretion of chief ministers' instead of a set formula was against Article 140-A.

The minister also called for a change in the present method of allocation, saying that funds below the provincial levels should be disbursed among the districts the same way the centre does it at the national level.

“The chief ministers consider themselves kings [because of the power to dole our funds as they please]," adding that "this is against the public interest."

It had earlier been reported that the minster, during a meeting of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s core committee, lashed out at Chief Minister Usman Buzdar-led Punjab government over its “failure to deliver”.

The minister had then reportedly informed Prime Minister Imran Khanthat the Punjab government had only used 77 billion out of the 350bn allocated for development purposes.

In the meeting, Chaudhry, as per Geo News sources, also accused the Punjab government of not giving finance commission award to the districts.

Upon Chaudhry's pointing out, sources said, the prime minister directed the provincial government to release the award.

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