Peshawar - Caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Justice (Retd) Arshad Hussain Shah presided over an important meeting regarding financial issues of the province here at Chief Minister’s House Peshawar on Monday.
Addressing the participants, Caretaker Chief Minister Arshad Hussain Shah said that merged tribal districts need special attention for their development and redressal of their decades long deprivations, but insufficient transfers from federal government has resulted in slow paced development work in merged districts.
However, he said that all-out efforts would be made to steer the province out of this financial crisis. The meeting discussed in detail the financial issues of the province, especially of the merged tribal districts related to the federal government, and decided to take up the issues with Caretaker Prime Minister for redressal.
KP Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry, IG Police Akhtar Hayat Gandapur, Additional Chief Secretary Planning and Development Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Additional Chief Secretary Home Abid Majeed, Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Ikramullah, Secretary Finance Aamir Sultan and other relevant officials attended the meeting. Caretaker KP Minister for Tribal Districts’ Affairs, Amer Abdullah also attended the meeting via video link.
Briefing the meeting about the current financial situation of the province, it was informed that administrative merger of the erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province had been completed, but financial integration is still incomplete due to which the provincial government is facing financial problems.
Besides, the commitments made with the province at the time of merger are not being fulfilled which has badly affected the overall development process in the merged tribal districts. It was also told that the province is not getting its due share in various federal transfers due to which the provincial government is faced with a major challenge of financial crunches. With the merger of erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the population of the province has also increased but the share of the province in the NFC Award was not increased accordingly which needs to be updated to enable the province to get its due share.
The meeting was informed that as per the existing population after merger of erstwhile FATA, the NFC share of the province comes to 19.64% of the total but the province is getting only 14.62%. Annually Rs142 billion are required for the current expenditures of merged tribal districts but only Rs66 billion are allocated to this effect for current fiscal year and thus, the government is facing a deficit of R76 billion only in terms of current expenditures.