Either meaning business or sheer political gimmick, opposition law makers in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly sparked a heated debate on the non-payment of net hydel profit, oil and gas royalty to the province by the federal government. Initiating the debate on his adjournment motion, Ahmad Karim Khan Kundi of PPP said that Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is producing 50000 barrels of crude oil per day worth Rs.200 billion for which it is entitled to get royalty of Rs.18 billion. Likewise, it is deprived of receiving royalty on production of gas. He complained against the docile attitude of the government to get these constitutional rights of the province. The stance was supported by ANP lawmaker Sardar Hussain Babak, Maulana Lutfur Rehman of JUI (F) Sardar Yousaf of PML-N and Inayat Ullah of JI.
The demand of the opposition for the payment net hydel profit, oil and gas royalty is justified. But the question is as to whether the federal government has the resources to make such payments when 57.8 percent tax revenue goes to provinces every year under 7th NFC Award. Has the federal government been left rich enough after PPP and PML-N government shady power sector agreements and LNG import deal with Qatar? Is it not a moment of inward looking for the opposition parties’ leadership? Why are they bashing the PTI government to which they left a quagmire of power sector circular debt ,power purchase agreements with IPPs of capacity trap clause and LNG deal of ‘take or pay clause?