Taimur Jhagra seeks opposition help on NHP issue

Wadood Jan

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance, Taimur Saleem Jhagra said on Friday that receiving arrears from the federal government on Net Hydel Profit (NHP) was not only the concern of opposition adding that the provincial government would support the opposition if it raised voice for its obtaining.

He said this on the floor of Provincial Assembly (PA) during the session, held after the budget session, and added that NHP was the issue of the province and both government and opposition should struggle for it.

The KP PA session was chaired by Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan.

Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said that no government was perfect but improvement would soon be observed in the province.

“Paperless budget would be introduced next year to minimize the cost but would be printed for those members who wanted printed budget booklets,” he said.

He maintained that no previous governments presented true and real figures in the budget booklets and kept the real data concealed.

“A deficit budget is one where expenditures exceed income or revenue,” he stated by adding that there is a difference between budgeted and revised figures.

Jhagra said that every single penny allocated for merged districts would be spent on masses of these districts.

Speaking on the National Commission Finance (NFC) Award, he said that after time line expires, which is June 2020, every possible step would be taken to receive the provincial share.

“Health and education sectors have been the priorities of the government and is not only improving the infrastructures in the sectors but also focusing on the system reforms,” he remarked and added that previous governments and civil societies were responsible for children who are out of schools.

Taimur Jhagra stated that parameter for choosing backward districts in the budget was simple.

“We chose those districts where investment in the past was very low,” the minister said.

Jhagra said that as much as 47 thousand jobs would be created in the province including merged districts.

He said the opposition should not mislead the masses and youth on budget.

Earlier, the Opposition Leader (OL) Akram Khan Durrani said that during budget session the opposition wanted to speak on the floor of House but the speaker did not turn his mic on.

“The speaker did not keep his words of allowing him to speak,” he remarked.

Responding to OL, the Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan said that  it had been only decided that you would speak but during that other opposition members would make uproar had not been decided.

Akram Khan Durrani said that complete document of budget had not been given to them.

“What was the government trying to hide,” he questioned and added that on one hand the government was stashing the budget while on the other hand the opposition was not let to speak.

He maintained that deficit has been concealed through deceitful practices of statistics.

“Statistically the government would face a deficit of Rs85 billion next year,” he said.

He stated that the provincial government was not competent to receive NPH from the federal government.

“The government is playing with the emotions of masses and an impression is being given to residents of merged tribal districts that rivers of honey and milk would be running in their regions,” he said.

He remarked that trees were being burnt to cover the corruption made in Tsunami Billion Tree project.

“We have taken the resignations back from standing committee,” he stated and added that meeting of Parliamentary Committee should held back on billion trees project.

He said , while on the floor of the House, that a great number of youth in merged districts was unemployed.

“The government should give them 30 thousand jobs instead of giving Rs30000,” he remarked.

Akram Khan Durrnai said that the schemes announced in agriculture are only words. “Agriculture Development Authority should be restored,” he asked the government.

Speaking on the floor of the House opposition members Inayatullah Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) said that less developmental projects have been announced in the recent budget.

“Allocations for education and health have been decreased in the current budget as were higher in the previous,” he stated and added that 1.8 million children are out of the schools.

Objecting the retirement age policy of the government he said that it was unjust to the youth and employees of the province as they won’t get jobs and would wait longer for their promotions.

“The government has selected districts of their own concern in the new projects,” he said and added that Umbrella Scheme was followed once again .

He said if their districts were not given funds then they would move the court for their rights.

Speaking on the House floor member of opposition Sher Azam Wazir of Pakistan Peoples Party said that the governments both federal and provincial were busy in revengeful politics instead of drafting masses friendly budget.

“The government did not fulfil promises that it had made,” he said and added that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf did not know how to run government and believed that it was just a sport. Sher Azam Wazir, while speaking on the floor of the House, addressed that PTI’s ministers and members ‘small ministers’ and ‘Chokra’- young boys, which turned the house into a fireball.

On the remarks of Sher Azam Wazir the ministers and members of PTI exchanged harsh words. The PTI members Fazal Hakeem agitated on the remarks of Sher Azam and had a spat.

During the tiff fists and punches were being waved in the air.

Later, the matter was settled by the intervention of Deputy Speakers, Sardar Hussain Babak, Law Minister and a few others.