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KP, federal govts to discuss NHP issue next month: Siraj-ul-Haq

June 21, 2014

Senior Minister for Finance, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Siraj-ul-Haq has said that the officials of federal and provincial government will meet next month to discuss longstanding issue of the payment of arrears in head of net profit on hydel power generation to the province.

In his wind up speech on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa budget for financial year 2014-14, he said that the joint efforts since 2002 are bearing results.

He said that federal government agreed on the payment of Rs.110 billion, which was received and utilized by the previous provincial government.

The senior minister said that even today they are carrying joint efforts for achievement of the rights of the province and for this purpose had held a meeting of former finance ministers and parliamentary leaders of opposition parties in the provincial assembly. Similarly, he said that they also organised a Jirga of the parliamentarians of the province in Islamabad and held meetings with political leadership for commitment in this regard.

He said the outstanding arrears are Rs 550 billion.

Siraj-ul-Haq said that for the resources, the province is 95% dependent on federal government. Regarding shortfall in the receipts, he said for the current year the estimated revenue target of the federal government was Rs 2,475 billion out of which their due share was Rs 222 billion. But, he said due to revision of the target federal government collected Rs 2,275 billion and their share was also declined by Rs 20 billion. However, he said for the next financial year, the estimated share from federal receipts is Rs 328 billion while Rs 29 billion will be generated from own resources of the province.

The finance minister said that the province has the potential of generating 18,000 megawatt electricity, while besides huge reserves of oil and gas they also have opportunities in tourism sector.

He said during next financial year the government will utilize all these potentials.

He said that in the Rs.404.80 billion budget, efforts had been made for giving due share to all sectors, saying for first-time Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has been established for the

utilization of these potentials while a Board of Investment and Trade (BoIT) has also been established for promotion of investment and trade activities in the province.

He said that out of the total budget Rs.265 billion goes into current expenditure while 30.8 per cent is utilized for payment of salaries and pensions and the remaining is spent on development schemes. During next financial year, he said a huge amount of Rs.139 billion will be spent on collective development of the province.

Regarding provincial debts, he said that when came into power the volume of loans was Rs,132 billion, but due adopting austerity and better financial management they cut it down to Rs.128 billion. In 2002, he said the debt was Rs.70 billion, which they have brought down to Rs.60 billion

He said that every member has given share in the development program while road sector has been divided. He disliked umbrella schemes and said that in future resources would be distributed on the basis of a survey to be conducted in this record.

The finance minister termed the budget as poor-friendly, saying for first time in the history of the province an amount of Rs.6 billion has been allocated in this regard. He said that in coming years it would be further increased.

Earlier, Khalid Khan of QWP, Saleh Mohammad (PML-N), Amna Sardar (PML-N), Shiraz Mehmood (PML-N), Abdul Karim (QWP), Maulana Fazal Ghafoor (JUI-F), Samiullah Alizai (PTI), Sobia Khan (PML-N), Malik Riaz (JUI-F), Noor Saleem Khan (JUI-F), Babar Saleem (AJI), Uzma Khan (JUI-F), Arshad Khan Umerzai (QWP) and Yasmin Pir Mohammad Khan of ANP also participated in the budget debate and highlighted problems of their respective constituencies.

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Source: Balochistan Times (Pakistan)

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