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HARIPUR, May 21: Senior Minister Sirajul Haq said on Wednesday that without economic development and self-reliance the country could not progress and emerge as a respectable state.

This he said while speaking at the joint sitting of Haripur district and tehsil assemblies.

Mr Haq said that miseries of the people remained in their acute form for more than half a century.

The autocratic living standard of the ruling class had contributed in creating a sense of deprivation among the people whose healthcare, education and communication related problems were unresolved and the ruling coterie was enjoying every comfort of life at the expense of national exchequer, he added.

He expressed the fear that if the ruling class did not change its life style the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank would one day chain the entire nation.

Stressing the need of putting an end to the prevailing disparity between the ruling and being ruled classes, the senior minister suggested that the cabinet members and bureaucrats should lead their lives within the available resources and not burden the national kitty furthermore.

However to this effect, he claimed to have brought an end to the VIP culture in the province and vowed to revive the culture and mode of rule of caliphs and making the province a true welfare society.

Referring to the difficulties of the NWFP government and its meagre financial sources, he said that the centre owed Rs29 billions to the province on account of net hydel profit, and delay in payment had put the province in a fix.

“One day they announce disbursing Rs2 billion to the province, while the second day we read in press regarding adjustment of that amount against our liabilities,” the minister said.

The minister said that the NWFP had only Rs2.75 billion total annual sources, while it spent Rs29 billion on salaries and only Rs14 billion on development.

He informed the gathering that for requesting the federal government regarding disbursement of the net hydel profit the provincial government had written to the central leadership of MMA, opposition parties and the centre too.

About local government system the senior minister conceded that the new system had brought relief to the people and provincial government could not run and achieve the target of development without them.

District Nazim Dr Raja Aamir Zaman presented welcome address and put up certain demands before the guest.

Earlier, Mr Haq inaugurated the new buildings of government girls middle school, Talokar, Murad Abad, and middle school for boys, Shah Maqsood.