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Rs6bn hydel profit payments: KP pleas to Wapda draw a blank

December 15, 2012

PESHAWAR, Dec 14: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s repeated requests to Water and Power Development Authority for the release of its current financial year’s net hydel profit share have so far failed to achieve the desired results, it is learnt.

The province, according to a senior government official functionary, has not been given a single rupee against its Rs6 billion NHP share for the current financial year.

“It’s very disturbing and annoying,” Senator Haji Adeel, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s statutory member on the National Finance Commission, told Dawn on Friday.

The official sources said it was only a few days ago that the province got the last of the payments against its last financial year’s NHP share. The Wapda’s ‘precarious’ financial condition, said a source, was responsible for the delay.

Since 1991, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been receiving Rs6 billion annually as its constitutionally protected NHP share against the profits accrued over and above the sale proceeds of the hydel power generation units situated in its different parts.

Wapda was supposed to release the Rs6 billion annual share of the province before the end of the financial year, according to an official.

However, in an escape from the past arrangement, Wapda did not release the full amount of money before June 30, 2012, leaving the provincial government with a revenue shortfall of over Rs2.25 billion under the NHP account in the financial year 2011-12.“The Authority cleared the last financial year’s account a few days ago, while releases against the province’s current financial year’s account stands at zero even though six months of the financial year 2012-13 have passed,” said a senior provincial government official.

Haji Adeel, a senior ANP leader from Peshawar, accused Wapda of ignoring the provincial government’s repeated reminders for disbursing the NHP releases against KP’s current financial year’s account.

“Last year, the province recorded a shortfall of over Rs4 billion under the said head and the current fiscal also does not appear to be any different from the last financial year,” he said.

He said the federal government was not taking interest in the matter, leaving the provincial government at the mercy of Wapda.

“It seems that the federal government has been ignoring the ANP-led provincial government’s requests on purpose as the alliance (between ANP and Pakistan People’s Party) is ending,” said Mr Adeel.

The official sources told Dawn that provincial Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti had taken up the matter during a Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting on Nov 8 this year, but to no avail.

“Later, the provincial government sent a letter to Wapda, reminding it of the discussion taken place at the CCI forum,” said the official, adding that Wapda’s response was awaited.

“There is a complete silence on the Wapda side as it has not taken note of the provincial government’s reminders for disbursing funds against the latter’s current financial year account,” said the official.

In line with the previous arrangement that remained effective until a couple of years ago, the province, added the official, should have received a total of Rs2.5 billion by the first week of Dec 2012 at the rate of Rs500 million per month.

Senator Adeel said the nonpayment of Rs6 billion annual NHP share was not the only concern for the provincial government.

Also, the federal government, he added, had turned a deaf ear to the province’s requests for resolution of its longstanding issue of NHP arrears, involving over Rs200 billion as per the provincial government’s claim.

He said President Asif Zardari had assured the ANP leadership a few months ago that the NHP arrears issue would be resolved in fulfillment of the provincial government’s aspirations.

“There is no progress even in that respect,” said the ANP leader, adding that the incumbent prime minister after assuming the charge had also assured the provincial government that the issue would be resolved for once and all.