PESHAWAR: Opposition members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday came down hard on the provincial government for ‘allocating’ funds to the ruling PTI’s National Assembly members from its annual development programme and questioned under which law the allocations were made.
During a session chaired Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, they said the provincial government was illegally utilising the province’s development funds through the ruling party’s MNAs in their respective constituencies and thus, disregarding members of the provincial assembly.
The opposition members claimed that Rs100-Rs300 million funds had been given away to the PTI MNAs by the provincial government.
They raised the issue during question hour.
Awami National Party member Bahadar Khan said the provincial government had failed to complete several road projects in his Lower Dir constituency though work on them had begun in 2015-16.
Speaker orders meeting of parliamentary leaders with CM on matter
He said the current ADP had a meagre amount for those roads.
The opposition lawmaker claimed that the provincial government had illegally allocated Rs250 million for the constituency of the MNA in that area.
“The provincial budget was passed by MPAs and not MNAs, so why the provincial government has preferred MNAs to MPAs in the provincial ADP,” he said.
Khushdil Khan of the ANP said five PTI MNAs were elected in Peshawar district and each of them had got Rs100 million funds for development schemes.
He said the opposition would challenge the allocation of the province’s funds to MNAs in the Peshawar High Court.
The opposition member said no law allowed the provision of the provincial ADP funds to MNAs.
Inayatullah Khan of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal claimed that the provincial government had been utilising from Rs250 million to Rs300 million funds through its MNAs.
He wondered which law allowed the move.
Sardar Yousaf of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said MPAs approved the provincial budget, so how it could be utilised in the constituencies of MNAs.
“Instead of taking funds from the federal government, MNAs are using provincial budget. This is an injustice with MPAs,” he said.
The opposition lawmaker said he had seen many instances of duplication during the utilisation of funds through MNAs and that was a waste of the taxpayers’ money.
No one from the treasury benches defended the provincial government on the issue and said MNAs couldn’t use the province’s funds.
Speaker Mushtaq Ghani directed special assistant to the chief minister on information Kamran Bangash to arrange a meeting of parliamentary leaders with the chief minister on the matter.
On a calling attention notice, MPA Shahida saidthe shelter home built by the social welfare department lately was in dilapidated condition due to the use of substandard material.
“It is a waste of the people’s money that the roof of the shelter home leaks water during rain,” she said.
The lawmaker demanded of the government to punish the culpable people.
Housing minister Dr Amjid Ali replied that he would take up the matter with social welfare minister Dr Hisham Inamullah.
The house also passed the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Development Authority Regulation (Repeal) Bill, 2020, which was moved by special assistant to CM on information Kamran Bangash.
On the adjournment motion of PPP’s Ahmad Kundi, the house witnessed a heated debate on the denial of share in net hydel profit and oil and gas production to the province by the centre.
MMA members Maulana Lutfur Rehman, Inayatullah Khan and Mahmood Khan Bittani, PML-N’s Sardar Yousaf, ANP’s Sardar Hussain Babak and Khushdil Khan and North Waziristan lawmaker Mir Kalam and others participated in the debate complaining about ‘injustices’ of the centre against KP.
The chair adjourned the session until July 31.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2020