PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday came under fire in the provincial assembly for not giving grant to two public sector universities in the current budget.
Speaking on a call attention notice in the house, lawmakers of both the treasury and opposition benches pointed out that the government had released special grant to universities in the province except Swabi University and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Women University Peshawar.
They said unlike others, the two universities instead of receiving special grant had been funded from the share of the districts in the net hydel profit.
The MPAs said in principle, the share in the net hydel profit should be spent on the development schemes in the respective districts.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA from Swabi Sheraz Khan raised the issue through a call attention notice.
He said the district’s own share in the net hydel profit was spent on development schemes like roads, health, education and other sectors through concerned MPAs.
The lawmaker’s concern was that the share of Swabi in the net hydel profit had been allocated to the newly established university in the district and therefore, development schemes on the community level had been adversely affected.
He demanded that the provincial government provide special grant to the two universities and that the district’s share in the net hydel profit be spent on development schemes through local MPAs.
MPAs insist Mardan, Peshawar universities funded from share of districts in hydel profit
The MPA said the province had been receiving Rs6 billion every year from Wapda as the annual net hydel profit since early 1990s.
He said the government distributed 50 per cent of the total profit among three districts, including Swabi, Haripur and Mansehra.
Taking the floor, parliamentary secretary for finance Mohammad Ali Khan said the government had worked out the formula for the distribution of 50 per cent share of net hydel profit among the three districts under which Mansehra received 70 per cent, Swabi 20 per cent and Haripur 10 per cent of the share.
He claimed that funds had been allocated to the two universities in consultation with the local lawmakers.
However, MPAs of the treasury and opposition benches contradicted the parliamentary secretary’s statement and alleged that they had never been consulted on the subject.
Babar Khan of Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s coalition partner, and Abdul Karim of Qaumi Watan Party supported Sheraz Khan and alleged that Swabi had been victimised.
They said the power generating unit of Tarbela dam had been installed in Swabi and that the government should not deprive local residents of their constitutional right.
Mufti Syed Janan of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl said he had submitted a similar call attention notice as districts like Hangu, Karak and Kohat, which produced oil and gas, didn’t receive due share in oil and gas production bonus and royalty funds.
Lawmakers of the opposition and treasury said they would hold a hunger strike camp in front of the assembly if the government failed to address their problems.
Speaker Asad Qaisar, who chaired the sitting, kept the call attention notice pending due to the absence of finance minister Muzafar Said.
Maternity benefit (amendment) bill 2015 and arms (amendment) bill 2015 were also introduced in the assembly.
Published in Dawn January 10th , 2014