PESHAWAR: The opposition parties in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for justifying the denial of net hydel profit to the province due to financial crisis and said the excuse violated the Constitution.

While inaugurating the 24/7 opening of the Torkham border crossing lately, the premier had said financial constraints were stopping the centre from paying NHP to KP under the AGN Kazi formula.

Leader of the opposition Mohammad Akram Khan Durrani told the house on a point of order that the premier’s justification for non-provision of net hydel profit to the province had caused resentment among residents.

He said it was the province’s constitutional right to claim the NHP payments in line with the AGN Kazi formula, so the premier’s statement was tantamount to depriving the residents of their constitutional right.

“Linking net hydel profit with financial crisis is unacceptable for the province,” he said.

Opposition MPAs push govt for claiming due funds from centre, provinces

Mr Durrani demanded the KP government convey a clear message to the prime minister that the province suffered due to militancy and denial of three per cent share in the divisible pool for merged districts by other provinces, so it should be paid due payments without delay.

Parliamentary leader of the Awami National Party Sardar Hussain Babak termed the prime minister’s statement on NHP payment unconstitutional and said the premier couldn’t issue such statement.

He said under the Constitution, the province had a right to NHP.

Mr Babak said the province’s NHP arrears since 2015 amounted to Rs500 billion but the centre had not only denied those payments but it had also waived off Rs300 billion on account of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess outstanding against different entities.

Food minister Qalandar Khan Lodhi said the government would respond to the issue in the next session of the assembly as it was on agenda.

The house didn’t discuss the questions, which were among agenda items, due to heated exchanges between Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani and opposition MPAs ahead of the question hour.

The first question on the agenda was put up by ANP MPA Bahadar Khan, who wondered how a PTI MNA could inaugurate a development scheme funded by the provincial government.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the reply of communication minister Akbar Ayub.

The speaker abruptly put the next question to discussion when the development scheme inauguration issue was under discussion.

Mr Bahadar got angry and asked his colleagues from opposition benches not to respond to the speaker when he would announce their names for discussion on their questions. The opposition members acted accordingly and thus, causing all questions to lapse.

Woman MPA of the ANP Samar Haroon Bilour drew the government’s attention through a calling attention notice to the non-implementation of the chief minister’s orders for increase in government job quota from two per cent to four per cent for the people with disabilities.

Law minister Sultan Mohammad Khan claimed that the chief minister had issued special directives to the establishment department to ‘work’ on the matter.

He laid the Succession (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Legal Aid Bill, 2019, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Bill, 2019, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Regional and District Health Authorities Bill, 2019, before the house.

The chair adjourned the session until Tuesday (today).

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2019