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Hydel profit receipts a big letdown for KP

June 20, 2012

PESHAWAR, June 19: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s net hydel profit receipts are far short of the amount it has reflected in its revised budget estimates for the outgoing financial year, according to official sources.

“The Water and Power Development Authority has put the provincial government in an embarrassing situation,” said a government official, adding that the government was hoping that the authority would release the full amount before the close of the outgoing financial year.

Under its revised budget estimates for the financial year 2011-12, the provincial government has reflected its revenue receipts on account of net hydel profit at Rs6 billion in line with the province’s annual capped amount share.

However, the cumulative net hydel profit receipts received from Wapda until June 19, 2012, are said to be far less than the capped annual share, according to official sources.

“The difference is far more than Rs1 billion, much more than that,” said an official, adding that the provincial government was making desperate attempts to get the remaining amount released from Wapda.

In this respect, the provincial government, according to sources, contacted the federal government and Wapda more than once during the last few days, reminding them to fulfill their obligation towards Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The government, according to sources, is desperate to get the remaining net hydel profit amount before it gets the budget passed from the provincial assembly.

“It will create complications if the provincial budget is passed without net hydel profit share having been received in full,” said a senior official.

Sikandar Sherpao, parliamentary leader of Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao, told Dawn that the anomaly would have to be rectified under the supplementary budget for the outgoing financial year (to be presented in the assembly in June 2013).

However, the government officials said the finance department was busy making hectic efforts to get the remaining amount from Wapda before the close of the outgoing financial year.

“The province has received some funds from Wapda during the last couple of days, but the gap between the money received and the capped annual share is far wide,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

Mr Sherpao said the issue of the non-payment of the full amount had been raised before the provincial assembly during its ongoing budget session with the government failing to come up with a satisfactory reply.

“They say they expect to get the full amount by June 30, 2012,” said Mr Sherpao, adding that “I hope the provincial government manages to get the full amount.”

He said as per his information, the provincial government was facing a shortfall in its revenue receipts on account of net hydel profit arrears.

Under an agreement with the federal government, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is supposed to get a total of Rs110 billion from the centre on account of net hydel profit arrears. The province is supposed to get Rs25 billion under this head during the outgoing financial year.

Mr Sherpao said until the first week of the current month, the provincial government had received around Rs5 billion less than the annual share (of Rs25 billion).

However, a government official said the federal government had released all the 12 monthly installments of Rs2.08 billion each, releasing the total amount of Rs25 billion for the outgoing financial year.

“They have fulfilled their commitment with the provincial government and released the full amount of Rs25 billion before June 15, 2012,” said the official.

Delay in releases from Wapda and the federal government, according to sources, lent negative impact to the provincial government’s finances and its ability to maintain its accounts properly.

The provincial government, said an official, underwent a lot of pressure due to the delay.

While its receipts under two major heads were stagnant, the government’s expenditure, added the official, registered sharp increase in the April-June quarter of the outgoing financial because it had to release funds to development projects.