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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cabinet in a meeting held here Monday with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair authorized the Chief Minister to sign MoU in connection with the IMF agreement under the shared fiscal responsibilities of the federal and provincial governments. It was also unanimously decided that the rights of the province would be protected at every cost.

The meeting besides the cabinet members was also attended by the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue and administrative secretaries of various departments attended.

Provincial Ministers Taimur Salim Jhagra, Anwar Zeb Khan and Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Information & PRs Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif while briefing media persons about the decisions of the cabinet meeting at ITLA’A Cell informed that the federal government by withdrawing support has deprived the people of merged districts from the free treatment facility which was being provided to them under the Sehat Card Scheme.

They further informed that the centre has stopped the monthly payment under the Net Hydle Profit since April 2022 and a letter was sent to the federal government by the provincial government on June 29 which hasn’t been responded yet. Agreement with the IMF is a collective responsibility. However, protecting the interests of the province is also our foremost responsibility which would be fulfilled any way. The people of merged areas are our brethren, and they would not be deprived of the free treatment facility, they observed.

No decision to ink MoU, they said, has been taken as yet and we don’t want to do politics on this issue. However, the MoU will be signed as and when our concerns are addressed by the federal government, they remarked.

The federal government, they said, has been treating the small provinces especially the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa step-motherly and despite financial constraints, the chief minister has approved to continue the Sehat Card Program within the province’s own resources. Necessary arrangements, they informed, are being made to continue Sehat Card Scheme under the direction of the Chief Minster till the transfer of funds from the federal government.

They further informed that the cabinet accorded approval to declare 24074 Hectares (59489 Acres) area in South Waziristan as Gomal Zam Dam Wetland Conservancy to intensively protect the wildlife resources as well as enhance the population of the target wildlife species.

The site has great potential to provide habitats to the migratory as well as native birds and animals like wolf, jackal, jungle cat, rock pigeon, partridges, chukar, Eurasian sparrow hawk, common kingfisher, green bee-eater and crested lark etc.

The cabinet, they further informed, also approved a sum of Rs.29.389 million as supplementary grant to be paid to the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Peshawar, Government of Pakistan to clear the outstanding dues from 2001-22 on account of lease money of the Cereal Crops Research Institute (CCRI) Pirsabak, Nowshera.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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