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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra accused federal finance minister Miftah Ismail of not honouring the commitment made by him at the time of signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for creating a budget surplus as required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Addressing a press conference along with former federal finance minister Asad Umar, Jhagra said the federal Finance Ministry has committed to him that funds for the FATA districts and the NHP running finances would be ensured to the province. Jhagra said that the present government after coming to power has not provided funds to the province on these accounts and stated that he also raised the issue during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and he directed to hold a meeting with the federal finance minister.

He said that he held a meeting with Ismail and was assured by him that the NHP running finances and funds for the FATA districts would be announced in the budget speech but he did not do so.

Jhagra said that he has written a letter to him (the federal minister) on July 5 and July 6, 2022 to remind him of his commitment for signing of MoU and requesting for a meeting Jhagra said that he has written a letter to Finance Minister Ismail on 26 August 2022 in the backdrop of the condition agreed for signing of MoU with regard to creating budget surplus for the ongoing fiscal year. He added that the issue of funds for the FATA districts was started after the merger of the FATA in the KP province and this was agreed in Sartaj Aziz Committee report that the KPK province would be given three per cent of the NFC over and above the province’s share for FATA districts for a period of 10 years.

He said that this was one of the conditions for accepting the MoU for creating budget surplus besides Rs25billion Net Hydel Profit (NHP) to the province.

He said that the previous government of Imran Khan had significantly increased the federal share for the FATA from Rs40 billion to over Rs100 billion for the development of the FATA districts.

He said that the federal finance minister has assured him in Monday’s meeting that issues of funds for FATA districts would be resolved within a month.

KP flood situation ‘takes precedence over all else’: Jhagra

He hoped that the NFC meeting would be convened at the earliest to resolve the issue of FATA districts besides NHP running finance should be given to the province. He said that NHP MOU was signed between former Minister for Power and then Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak back in 2016-17 on the NHP payments.

The federal government which is now criticizing his letter for the province’s inability to create a budget surplus would later on use the same letter for getting adjusted from the IMF.

He said that all he stated in the letter that when there are floods in the province and if federal government did not provide promised NHP and funds of KPK districts, it would be next to impossible for the province to create a budget surplus.

Former finance minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) General Secretary Asad Umar said that in his opinion Shaukat Tarin has done nothing wrong in the leaked audio as contacting Mohsin Laghari and Taimur Saleem Jhagra by Tarin on phone and giving them any advice.

Asad Umar said that during their government the PML-N not only opposed the FATF law and voted against it to spare nothing to include the country in the blacklist.

He said that the approval of the State Bank law was a condition of the IMF program revival, but when in opposition they opposed and voted against the law in the National Assembly. He said that their stance was the country was being made subservient to the IMF and a new East India Company in the form of SBP was being created. Now they are in power for the last four months but have not spoken against the SBP law.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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NoJustice Aug 30, 2022 06:33am
Grandson of GIK, your lies and deceit are laid bare. You are the best example of elite capture, those trying to hold Pakistan back for personal interests.
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