ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has spelled out a 13-point ‘agenda of change and development’ for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the province where his party is in power, while announcing that K-P would take the lead in abolishing discretionary funds for provincial legislators.
“The only duty of MPAs is to make laws and oversee their implementation. The bad tradition of doling out development funds to MPAs was introduced by the then military ruler, General Ziaul Haq,” Imran told a news conference on Monday.
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He said his party has decided to devolve financial powers to local governments. “A provincial financial commission is being set up that will release funds to the local governments and districts without political interference,” he added.
‘The agenda of change and development’ also includes allocation of Rs33 billion [or 30% of K-P’s budget] to the local governments, distribution of funds irrespective of party affiliation, making the Chief Minister House available to top taxpayers and opening of the CM/speaker’s rest houses in Nathiagali for general public.
“It also includes introduction of conflict of interest law, police reforms, induction of 40,000 new teachers, all new appointments through NTS [National Testing Service], lower judiciary reforms and Peshawar Mass Transit,” he added.
The PTI chairman said these reforms were part of his party’s manifesto but could not be implemented earlier. He termed the new agenda a landmark in the country’s history and said his party was entering a new phase in K-P.
Imran also mentioned a number of new laws the K-P government was going to pass. “This reforms agenda includes Police Act 2016 aimed at de-politicising the police, and Public Safety Commission will oversee this act,” he added.
He said his party is going to make the health sector and the hospitals of the province exemplary. A new accountability law is being introduced that will be more powerful than the previous one besides the introduction of whistle-blower act in which whistle-blowers highlighting graft will get 25 per cent of the recovery.
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“Corruption in K-P is at the lowest level compared to other provinces, according to the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) survey,” he added.
Responding to a question about release of funds to Madrassa Haqqania in Akora Khattak, he said the K-P government was going to sign an MoU with all seminaries in the province as it wanted to bring their students into the mainstream. “We want to integrate three different syllabuses in the country and to provide 2.2 million madrasa students the opportunity to learn modern-day subjects,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2016.