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June 16, 2021

Federal budget: KP’s share reduced, fund for merged districts not reflected, Says ANP

PESHAWAR: Rejecting the federal government budget for the next fiscal year, the Awami National Party (ANP) on Tuesday said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s share had been reduced and the annual fund meant for the newly-merged districts was not reflected in the budget.

Member Provincial Assembly Samar Haroon Bilour, who is also the provincial spokesperson for the ANP, said that a non-elected person had prepared the annual budget at the behest of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“There is no relief for the common people and government employees,” she said at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club. Members of the provincial information committee of the ANP Rehmat Ali, Taimoor Baz and Hamid Toofan were present on the occasion.

She said the annual share of all other provinces had been increased in the annual budget but the development fund for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been reduced from Rs274 billion to Rs248 billion.

She claimed that the share of Sindh was Rs94 billion in 2020 and has been increased to Rs321 billion in 2021-22 while the Punjab share was enhanced from Rs310 billion to Rs500 billion in the annual budget.

She pointed out that Balochistan’s share in the outgoing financial year was Rs89 billion, which had now increased to Rs133 billion in the next fiscal year.

The ANP MPA said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was not promised its due share and payment of arrears from the net hydel profit in the budget. “The federal government as well as the energy department have to pay about Rs650 billion as arrears under the head of the net hydel profit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Samar Haroon Bilour argued.

She pointed out that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was in power in the centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the net hydel profit issue must be resolved during its rule.

The ANP would fully back the PTI government in its struggle for securing net hydel profits and other rights for the province, she added.

The ANP provincial spokesperson claimed that the federal government had pledged a 10-year development plan for the newly-merged tribal districts. “Under the plan, Rs100 billion were to be allocated for these districts in each annual budget but the federal government once again allocated a small amount for the former Fata,” she said.

She explained that the tribal districts had adversely suffered due to militancy and military operations and the federal government as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments must focus on its development and welfare of the militancy-stricken people.

She criticised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister for not raising the issue of tribal districts’ share and special package at the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting in Islamabad.

She said that under the 25th Amendment, the newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be given three percent share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

Speaking on the occasion, Hamid Toofan, a member of ANP provincial information committee, said that the federal government planned to impose new taxes of more than Rs300 billion. He argued that increasing petroleum levy would lead to rise in the prices of petroleum products and put further burden on the people.