Sunday September 26, 2021

Sacked adviser says his department was performing well; Questions KP govt spokesman’s remarks

PESHAWAR: The former advisortothechief minister on Revenue, Qalandar Lodhi, who was recently removed from the cabinet, said on Thursday he had no differences with anyone and would follow the party’s discipline. Talking to The News and JangonThursday, he said he would try to shoulder the responsibilities assigned to him byhis party leadership. He, however, questioned his suspension from the cabinet as advisor and the statement of the government spokesman who had linked his removal to his poor performance. The provincial government spokesman, he said, shouldhavechecked the government record on the Revenue Department before issuingsuchastatement about his performance and that of hisdepartment. The former advisor said that the Revenue Departmenthadachieved the target rather than surpassed it and thatwaswhythechief minister had approved a three months increase in the basic salaries of the officials, including the Senior Member BoardofRevenue on his recommendation last month. Terming the KP spokesman’s statement of poor performance as deplorable and contrary to the facts, Qalandar Lodhi said he had full confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister MahmudKhan.

He said he has neither any differences with Governor Shah Farman nor with central or provincial leaders of the party. The sacked cabinet memberrecalled that before Eidul Azha, he had held a meeting with the chief minister, adding KP Assembly Speaker, Mushtaq Ghani, provincial minister Akbar Ayub, MPA, Nazir Abbasi, MNA, Ali Khan Jadoon and Yousaf Ayub were present there as well. “We had discussed problems of the Hazara division, particularly the expected rains and devastation,” he said, adding he had served the people of PK 38 for the last two decades and that was why they elected him to the assembly for the fourth time. Regarding his performance as minister and advisor, Qalandar Lodhi recalled that he had initiated reforms in his department and the process of computerizing the Revenue Department record throughout the province. Similarly, he said, he had appointed educated and qualified patwaris after conducting proper ETA tests and for the first time, women were appointed on 10 percent quota. He said the Revenue Department had set a fixed target of Rs 4.42 billion collection but due to reforms, they achieved the 7.20 billion target and the provincial government had praised the performance. Qalandar Lodhi, who was

the minister for food prior to assuming the position as an adviser, said he had also initiatedreforms in the Food Department which paid well. The former adviser said savings were made in the Food Department through procurements, adding he himself visited Punjab to purchase wheat and saved billions for the KP government. Qalandar Lodhi said he had also increased the Food Department deposits in the Bank of Khyber from Rs 200 million up to Rs 400 million. Rejecting KP’s government spokesman claim, he said his performance was before the people and that was why his constituents had elected him repeatedly. He said the spokesman’s statement had hurt him. Being an ordinary worker, he said, he had served his people for eight years by remaining in the cabinet and that he was bound to follow party disciplines. Qalandar Lodhi said he was not a member of any anti-government group and hadthesupport of the former chief minister Pervez Khattak and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. He said he would announce recommendations of the parliamentary board within a few days for which he was assigned the task. Qalandar Lodhi thanked central and provincial leadership putting trust in him and vowed to come up to their expectations in the future as well.