PESHAWAR - Despite approval of three major hydropower development schemes under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) by the Executive Committee of Economic Council, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has criticised the federal government for using discriminatory tactics in approval of PSDP projects for the province.
“We have proposed several PSDP projects worth Rs1.7 trillion to ECNEC but it has given approval to only three hydro power generation projects in the KPK, which was totally injustice with the militancy-affected province,” said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Finance Sirajul Haq while addressing emergency press conference at the Officer Mess Peshawar on Wednesday.
He said the ECNEC has given approval to three major hydro development projects, which could generate 426 mega watts electricity. The projects include Sharmai (150 MW) hydropower Projects located in Upper Dir, Shogo-Sen (132 MW) Hydropower Project and Shushagai-Zhendoli (144-MW) Hydel Project in Chitral, he added. He informed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would provide 10 per cent share in the total allocation of funds for these three major hydro power generation projects.
He, however, said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has proposed a total of 184 PSDP schemes. He said that most of proposed projects relating to hydel power generations, irrigation and roads infrastructure, which could not only benefit the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but also rest of the country. But, he said the incumbent federal government has adopted discriminately attitude towards these projects by following the footstep of former PPP-led government in the country, which was tantamount to slow down the development of smaller federating units.
Flanked by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shah Farman and Director Information Bermand Khan and other officials, he also expressed doubts oveer the release of funds for currently approved hydropower generation projects in the province by the Federal government.
About the disbursement of PSDP funds for development projects in the KPK, he said in the current financial year 2013-14, an amount of Rs84 billion has been allocated out of which only Rs7 billion were released to KPK. Similarly, he said a sum of Rs93 billion had allocated during fiscal year 2012-13 but Rs19 billion provided for the PSDP schemes in province. He alleged the federal bureaucracy was created huge obstacles in the release of funds for PSDP projects relating to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Regarding the payment of arrears of net hydel profit, the minister said that the federal government has also capped Rs6 billion since 1991-92 outstanding against the KPK government on head of NHP.
Similarly, he said the government neither release NHP arrears as per AGN Kazi formula nor as per decision of arbitration tribunal because of Rs375 billion. He claimed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the capacity to generate 18,000 mega watts electricity if the federal government financial cooperates with the province.
Expressing concern over electricity and gas loadshedding, he said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is net exporter of electricity and gas, despite the fact that consumers are facing immensely hardships due to prolonged power and gas outages in the province. He asked Nawaz Sharif not show himself as prime minister of Punjab but he should give equal rights to smaller federating units as well.
The minister informed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has formed an advisory council comprising ex-finance ministers of KPK. He said the council would make efforts for attainment of legitimate right of the province. He further said the members of Senate and parliament would also be taken into confidence for availing the right of KPK.
Commenting on the issue of Kalabagh Dam, KPK Information Minister said the PTI government has clear stance on the issue that the KBD is a technical issue. He stressed the need for proper development of consensus among all federating units. He said there was huge potential to generate electricity in Khyber Pakhtunkwa so why we are pressing for the construction of Kalabagh Dam.
About the offer of federal government to take control of Pesco, Shah Farman said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was ready to take control of the company with condition of transferring power generation and transmission there. “The only power distribution and recovery of billing will not be acceptable,” he clarified.
Sirajul Haq while speaking on the KBD issue said that the KBD was always used for the political purpose, saying that Musharraf-led government and even PML-Nawaz government had not allocated any specific funds for construction of the controversial dam. He also stressed the need for development of consensus of all federating units in this crucial issue.