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Net-hydel profit on hydropower generation: treasury, opposition demand uncapping of payment to provinces

Government and opposition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Thursday joined hands and reiterated the longstanding demand of the uncapping of the amount paid to the province in head of net-hydel profit (NHP) on hydropower generation. The decision was taken in a joint Jirga of the leaders of treasury and opposition benches of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa held here in the Cabinet Room of the Civil Secretariat with Senior Minister, Siraj-ul-Haq in the chair.

The joint opposition was led by Leader of Opposition Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan. Those who attended were included Lutf-ur-Rehman (JUI-F), Saleem Khan (PPP), Sikandar Sherpao (QWP), Sardar Hussain Babak (ANP), Muzzafar Said, Shahram Khan Tarakai (AJI), Information Minister, Shah Farman and Health Minister, Shaukat Ali Yusufzai.

The meeting observed that according to article 161 (2) of the Constitution and AGN Qazi Formula, the payment of net-hydel profit to the province on regular basis is accomplished and fundamental right of the province and any delay in this regard is violation of the decisions of Council of Common Interest (CCI) and President of Pakistan. Therefore, the meeting demanded the payment of all arrears in this regard to the province without any further delay and uncapping of the ratio of the net-profit and guarantee it payment in future.

Briefing media regarding the joint meeting, Siraj-ul-Haq said that the provincial government presented the case, prevailing situation and difficulties faced by the province in this regard before the opposition and after a detailed discussion the both sides agreed on joint pleading of the case and struggle for rights of the province.

The meeting decided that receipts received from the federal government would be utilised on the pattern as demanded by the province and like federal government the distribution would be made on the formula basis of poverty and backwardness. The opposition leader, he said also gave suggestions on guaranteeing transparency and good governance.

It said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a war affected area and bearing huge losses while it also bearing the burden of tribal area. In last, National Finance Commission (NFC) Award the province was granted 1 per cent share of the federal divisible pool, which is nominal and it should be increased to at least 5 per cent. The joint meeting also complained of injustice in development schemes under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in the province, saying during last four years schemes to the tone of Rs 3421 billion were approved, but Rs 59 billion were utilised, which is only 1.7 per cent as compared to 14.16 per cent right of the province.

The meeting also demanded immediate completion of the project of Lowari Tunnel to resolve the long standing problem of the residents of district Chitral. Siraj-ul-Haq said that all political leadership of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is united for the rights of the province. He said the purpose of the joint meeting was to take opposition on board on the problems faced the province and welcome proposals from them. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is rich in natural resources and hydel, minerals, forests, tourism and youth are its potentials.

He said that joint utilisation of these resources would turn the borrowing province to a loan giving area. To a question, he said that consultations for nominating members on National Finance Commission (NFC) were continued, saying they are looking a competent person to represent the province in better manner on the commission. He said the provincial government has identified 20 sites for hydropower stations, whose utilisation will generate 18000 MW electricity. Similarly, the provincial government, he said is also working on forests and mineral sectors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2014


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