Saturday June 25, 2022

PTI govt in KP unhappy with party’s federal govt

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is facing shortage of funds and it may even seek a bank loan to meet its needs.

January 19, 2021
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

PESHAWAR: Though the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is in power in both the centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government isn’t happy with the federal government due to the non-fulfilment of its commitment to pay Rs100 billion annually for reconstruction and development projects in the erstwhile Fata and the delay in payment of its share in the net hydel profit.

When approached for his comments, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is facing shortage of funds and it may even seek a bank loan to meet its needs. “We need regular flow of funds as the province is dependent on the federal government for 92 percent of its receipts,” he added.

Meanwhile, official sources pointed out that a total of Rs65 billion has been paid to the province for executing projects and carrying out reforms in the newly merged districts of former Fata. “The merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa happened in May 2018. By May this year an amount of Rs300 billion should be provided to ex-Fata on the completion of three years of the merger,” a senior official said.

The official pointed out that only the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments have provided their share of funds to the merged districts, but the flow of funds from the centre was slow due to delays. “Despite commitment to pay three percent of its share from the National Finance Commission award to ex-Fata, Punjab has yet to give even a rupee. Sindh and Balochistan have refused to pay citing unconvincing reasons even though Fata merger and reforms are supposed to be a national cause for strengthening Pakistan’s security by bringing the merged districts at a par with rest of the country,” the official argued.

According to officials, the reduced funding and delay had affected the execution of projects deemed necessary for passing on the benefits of Fata’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the tribespeople. They said a visible change in the lives of the people was needed to strengthen the pro-merger lobby and weaken the position of those still opposing the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Regarding the provincial share in the net hydel profits from projects located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the officials said the province wanted this money to be paid regularly and in time along with the arrears. “We are paid the royalty for the oil and gas deposits in the province regularly. We want such a system of regular payment of our share of net hydel profit to enable the province to timely manage its budget needs,” an official noted.

Himayatullah Khan, advisor on energy to the provincial government, the province is seeking net hydel profit arrears under three heads – regular, AGN Kazi formula and Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO) HPP. The regular arrears payable to the province by Wapda total Rs59,041 million according to calculations since 2018-19. It also includes an amount of Rs8,099 million that has to be paid to the province on account of miscalculation of net hydel profit for the period 2015-2020 and Rs108 million for net hydel profit from the Gomal Zam dam. Since 2018-19, Wapda has paid the province Rs12,094 million but it has always failed to pay in time and in full yearly.

Under the AGN Kazi formula, the balance payable to the province in terms of arrears since 2016-17 is Rs638,662 million. In 2016-17, the balance payable was Rs128,643 million, in 2017-18 the amount was Rs137,599 million, in 2018-19 it was Rs152,596 million and in 2019-20 the balance payable was Rs219,824 million.

Under the head PEDO HPP arrears, the balance payable to the province from five projects is Rs6,357,99 million. These projects include the 81 megawatt Malakand-III, the 18 megawatt Pehur, the 36.6 megawatt Daral Khwar, the 17 megawatt Ranolia and the 2.6 megawatt Machai. These payments have been confirmed by the CPPA-G and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), but the arrears haven’t been paid to the province.