PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Caretaker Minister of Information, Tourism, Culture, and Archaeology, Barrister Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel, emphasized the government’s dedication to improving governance, eradicating corruption, and providing relief to the people during a recent press conference held at the Civil Secretariat in Peshawar.
He said that a provincial task force has been established to combat smuggling activities, specifically focusing on sugar, dollar, and gold smuggling.
He further said that the government has resolved to take strict measures against illegal housing societies in the province. Housing societies will not be permitted to operate without obtaining the No Objection Certificate (NOC) he said. Caretaker Minister said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has taken steps to prevent the smuggling of foreign currencies, resulting in 519 arrests and 440 FIRs filed. Cross-border smuggling has been curtailed, leading to a reduction in the dollar’s value he said.
While commenting on electricity theft in the province he said that administrative officers have been tasked to strictly deal with electricity theft resulting in 518 raids conducted, the removal of 1,000 illegal poles, and the recovery of Rs 40 lakh in arrears in a short spin of time. He said that action was taken against foreign exchange operator, with 440 raids, 519 arrests, 44 shops sealed, and 440 FIRs filed.
The Caretaker Minister said that crack downs are ongoing against hoarding and smuggling of essential commodities like wheat, cooking oil, and ghee. To date, 88,000 sacks of wheat and 90,000 liters of cooking oil and ghee have been confiscated he said. Minister in the presser also talk about financial constraints of the province and said that the province’s NFC share is 19.6 percent, while the Federal Government is providing only 16 percent.
He stressed the importance of settling the Rs 1,500 billion arrears owed by the federal government for Net Hydel to solve financial issues of the province. The Caretaker Minister said that action has been initiated against illegal housing societies, including Bahria Town and Citi Housing, which lack the necessary NOCs.
He stressed the need for greater awareness among the public about such housing societies who lack approval of the provincial government. Minister Kakakhel acknowledged the significance of the tourism sector and outlined plans to generate billions of rupees through the completion of tourism projects.
He also mentioned organizing tours to historical sites and the revitalization of cultural institutions like Nishtar Hall. While commenting on Health Card program he said that the program will continue to provide free medical care. When questioned about elections, Minister Kakakhel stated that the Provincial Government is ready to hold elections on the date determined by the Election Commission in accordance with the constitution.