Peshawar: Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has assured Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak that the Federal government would extend all possible support to KP government in economic uplift of the province. He said the Federal Government organizations and departments engaged in development works in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would also be urged to undertake their tasks with devotion and dedication, he added.
Federal Finance Minister received the KP Chief Minister here at Cabinet Division Secretariat Islamabad to discuss important issues relating to the province’s interests. Khawaja Asif, Federal Minister for Water and Power, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources (P&NR) and senior officials from the Federal and KP governments attended the meeting which lasted for over two hours.
CM KP apprised the federal ministers of issues relating to ministries of Water & Power, Petroleum & Natural Resources, Finance (FBR), Planning & Development and other related sectors. Pervez Khattak on this occasion voiced KP’s interest to be incorporated in the energy and economic corridor to benefit from the number of projects being undertaken under it. The Finance Minister assured support in this regard reiterating that the Federal Government, in true national spirit, deemed this an obligation to extend support to all the provinces.
Pervez Khattak at the outset mentioned about payment of arrears of outstanding net hydel profit to KP. It was agreed that the issue would be taken up by Ministry of Water and Power on priority basis with inputs from NEPRA and WAPDA to propose workable options. A meeting to this effect would be held in March with due representation from KP. Similarly all other issues related to Ministry of Water and Power would be discussed at working level meetings, proposing the way forward as per needs and demand of KP.
The Finance Minister told Pervez Khattak that the Federal Government appreciated development projects undertaken by the province but there had to be proper consideration and approval by ECNEC which was the right forum for this purpose. He said we would like to initiate a consultative process between the centre and provinces for the purpose of allocation of funds for projects as prioritized by the provinces themselves. He also opined that the KP government could surrender projects which it deemed unbeneficial and accordingly the funds could be redirected to other priority areas. The KP side welcomed the suggestion.
CM KP also requested for sovereign guarantees in regard to Hydro power projects or‘ other IPPs owned by the Government of KP for the projects above 50 MW. It was decided that the Centre will facilitate the province in the matter so that financial close of the projects could be conveniently realized. The Finance Minister issued instructions to Chairman FBR to liaise with the representatives of KP government and propose workable solutions for all tax related problems.
Chief Minister while thanking the federal ministers for their candid assurances hoped that it would be honoured accordingly while the KP govt would also acknowledge it when all these were implemented in letter and spirit due to our past experience with federal govt ministries. Both sides agreed on continued engagement to discuss and resolve all outstanding issues.