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KP Assembly Speaker defers ruling: MPAs angered by diversion of development funds

Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Asad Qaiser on Friday deferred his ruling on the allocation of funds under net-hydel profit for Swabi and Benazir Women Universities in the province. The Speaker took the decision after legislators from district Swabi expressed anger over the decision of the provincial government. The matter was raised in the house by Mohammad Shiraz Khan of PML-N through a call attention notice.

He said that the fund received under the head of net-hydel profit had been allocated to Swabi University and Benazir Women University irrespective of the fact that earlier funds received from this head was used to allocate for development schemes in different constituencies of district. He said that funds received in the same head in other districts were utilised for development schemes through MPAs concerned. He said other universities of the province were funded by federal and provincial governments. He requested the chair that like other districts, the funds received under net-hydel profit in district Swabi should also be spent on development schemes through MPAs and the provincial government should fulfil the financial needs of the universities.

Parliamentary Secretary on Finance Mohammad Ali Khan gave a detailed replying and said that 70 percent of the net-profit earned from electricity generated from Turbela Dam was paid to Haripur, 10 percent to Mansehra and remaining 20 percent go to Swabi. However, he said that the fund instead of ADP schemes has been allocated for Swabi and Benazir Women Universities. He proposed that the three MPAs of provincial assembly constituencies PK-31, 33 and 36 should give a unanimous proposal that they want the utilisation of the funds for development schemes.

To this Abdul Karim Khan of QWP, another MPA from district Swabi refused to agree and called for equal treatment with all districts. He said that receipts received under net-hydel profit in Malakand are spent on development schemes. Shiraz Khan said that universities were also established in past, but, development funds were never spent for the purpose.

Babar Saleem, a treasury MPA belonging to Awami Jamhoori ittehad (AJI), also joined the chorus and termed the allocation as injustice. He said that funds received in heads of net-hydel profit, tobacco development cess and gas royalty in all other districts were spent on development, but in case of Swabi it was injustice. The decision, he said had taken without taking them into confidence.

He announced that he was with Shiraz Khan. Meanwhile, in reply to the point of order of Abdul Karim Khan of QWP regarding the charging of toll tax at rate of Rs 25/- per vehicle on Mardan bypass, the Provincial Minister Mohammad Atif Khan said that the Chief Minister had assured to abolish the tax. Later, Provincial Minister for Labour, Shah Farman introduced The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the house while The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Protection of Breast-Feeding and Child Nutrition Bill, 2015 was passed by the house.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015