Both the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday submitted their respective reports to the Supreme Court (SC) pertaining to the release of Rs21 billion for polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The directives for releasing the funds were issued by a three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar in an April 4 verdict.

The apex court had ordered the government to provide Rs21bn to the ECP to conduct elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by April 10, and directed the ECP to provide a report on whether or not the government complied with the order on April 11.

However, the government referred the matter to Parliament which defied the court’s orders and refused to issue the funds.

Last week, the electoral watchdog had submitted a report to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope. Though the contents of the report are not known, a source privy to the information told Dawn that the one-page report informed the apex court about the government’s reluctance to issue the Rs21bn needed for the purpose.

Subsequently, the court had directed the SBP to release funds worth Rs21bn for elections from from Account No I — a principal component of the Federal Cons­olidated Fund worth Rs1.39 trillion — and send an “appropriate communication” to this effect to the finance ministry by April 17.

Following the top court’s orders, the central bank on Monday allocated the funds and sought the finance ministry’s nod to release the amount.

An approval of government is required to release the amount from the FCF while the government has to get the National Assembly’s approval for its release.

But the same day, the coalition government managed through the NA the rejection of its own demand for provision of Rs21bn as a supplementary grant to the ECP for holding polls in the two provinces.

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf put the motion before the house for a voice vote after it was moved by Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar on behalf of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar through a supplementary agenda.

Opinion

Editorial

A new operation
Updated 25 Jun, 2024

A new operation

Clear deterrent action is needed against terrorist groups, but without upending the lives of people in the affected areas.
Power theft
25 Jun, 2024

Power theft

FEDERAL Energy Minister Awais Leghari’s statement during a TV interview that electricity theft amounts to Rs600bn ...
Fatal air
25 Jun, 2024

Fatal air

TOXIC air can cost us our children. It causes life-threatening illnesses, inflicts lifelong damage and leads to ...
Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...