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April 13, 2019

BRT project: Moot urges govt to exempt businesses from taxes for 10 years


April 13, 2019

PESHAWAR: The participants of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI)-convened ‘All Parties Conference’ on Friday urged the provincial government to exempt the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) affected traders from all taxes for the next 10 years.

The moot also called upon the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct an impartial inquiry into the alleged corruption in the BRT project. They appealed to the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of the misuse of funds in the execution of the project. The moot, titled ‘Corruption in BRT project and Peshawar issues,’ was chaired by JI provincial head Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan at the Peshawar Press Club.

JI district Peshawar head Ateequr Rehman, former provincial minister Hafiz Hashmat Khan and others were present on the occasion. Zulfiqar Afghani of Pakistan People’s Party, Haroon of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Maulana Amanullah Haqqani, Ghulam Ali and Abdul Jalil Jan of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Malik Adeel Awan of Qaumi Watan Party, Sartaj Khan of Awami National Party, Khalid Ayub of Peshawar Qaumi Jirga and others were also in attendance. The participants said that traders in Peshawar suffered heavy loss due to delay in completion of the BRT project. They added that around 50 percent traders shifted businesses to other places due to this project.

The speakers expressed concern over the alleged corruption in BRT and asked the government to compensate the affected traders.The moot unanimously endorsed a resolution, demanding exemplary punishment for creating the mess in the name of BRT project. The resolution demanded the provincial government to announce a comprehensive compensation package for the BRT affected traders.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmad said his party didn’t oppose the BRT project because it was a development scheme. However, he alleged that contract of the project was awarded to the company on 25 per cent commission, adding the BRT was a mega corruption scandal. He said the cost of the project increased from Rs49 billion to Rs100 billion. He said the BRT had defaced the Peshawar city. Mushtaq Ahmad said PTI government had claimed it had achieved tremendous success in the Billion Tree Tsunami project, but the KP government uprooted hundreds of trees to undertake the BRT project, which not only polluted the environment but also affected people, including the traffic wardens.

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