ISLAMABAD: The Government of Punjab has urged the Federal Government to clear its longstanding dues including Net Hydel Profit (NHP) as the province is facing fiscal challenges on different accounts. This was stated by Secretary Finance Punjab, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, in a letter to Federal Secretary Finance, in which the latter’s personal intervention has been sought for an effective resolution at the earliest.
According to the letter a meeting was held on November 8, 2021 under the chairmanship of Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, which was attended by Minister for Finance Punjab and senior officers from concerned Ministries/ Divisions/ Departments wherein the matter of payment of Punjab’s receivables from Federal Government was considered.
After a detailed discussion, it was decided that all regular/ running NHP payments from CFY 2021-22 would be made to Punjab on monthly basis by Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guaranteed (CPPA-G). On NHP arrears of Rs57.458 billion, the meeting decided that Finance Division would devise a mechanism to clear billions of pending arrears at the earliest.
On CDA share of Rs4.25 billion for operation of Rawalpindi –Islamabad Metro Bus, the meeting decided that Finance Division, in coordination with Ministry of Interior/ CDA, would devise a streamlined mechanism for expeditious transfer of budgeted amount to the Government of Punjab as per the agreement.
Regarding claim of federal share of subsidy of Rs9.96 billion as wheat subsidy and payment of mark-up on 2.5 Million Metric Tons (MMT) of federal strategic wheat reserves of Rs33.796 billion as per agreement, the meeting decided that Finance Department, Government of Punjab and Ministry of National Food Security and Research would coordinate and reconcile pending liabilities of Punjab at the earliest. Subsequently, Ministry of National Food Security and Research would take up the matter with Finance Division to clear settled/ reconciled claims of Government of Punjab.
On December 6, 2021, Finance Ministry wrote a letter to Ministry of Energy, asking the latter for appropriate action on the decisions taken in the meeting presided over by the Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021