Political agents replaced with deputy commissioners

Provincial govt orders overhaul of Fata administration; stops collection of agency development fund

Sohail Khattak June 09, 2018
The K-P Home and Tribal Affairs Department on Friday issued a notification about re-designation of Fata’s political agents as deputy commissioners PHOTO: Express/File

PESHAWAR: Officially kicking off process for merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), the provincial government on Friday ordered replacement of the colonial-era political agents’ setup with civil administration system.

The K-P government also ordered immediate halt to collection of the Agency Development Fund in the former tribal areas and removal of check-posts established for the collection of various taxes.

The orders were issued in line with the Constitution (25th amendment) Act 2018, passed last month by parliament and the K-P Assembly, for merger of Fata with the K-P.

The K-P Home and Tribal Affairs Department on Friday issued a notification about re-designation of Fata’s political agents as deputy commissioners, additional political agents as additional assistant commissioners and assistant political agents as assistant commissioners.

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Moreover, the department also issued a notification giving magisterial powers to all the assistant commissioners (AC) deputed in Fata.  These magisterial powers were given to the assistant commissioners by the K-P governor under the Fata Interim Regulation 2018.

The AC will exercise these powers under Section 30 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The K-P government also stopped collection of Agency Development Fund in the tribal areas with immediate affect, asking the administration to send compliance report to Fata’s additional chief secretary (ACS) within 48 hours of the receipt of the instructions.

The order to abolish agency development fund was issued by the K-P chief secretary in a bid to facilitate mainstreaming of Fata in pursuance of a decision taken by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in a meeting held on May 2, 2018.

The orders called for immediately stopping collection of all types of ‘Rahdaarees’, import tax, export tax and levies collected by the political administration and to send compliance report within 48 hours.

“The local administration is directed to ensure that no person or agency collects any type of tax, levy or fee anywhere in its respective jurisdiction other than what a national law allows,” it said

All the expenditures from the agency development funds have also been stopped and a bank statement of the mentioned account shall be sent to Fata additional chief secretary (ACS) in 48 hours.

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“Any necessary expenditure shall only be allowed with the prior approval of ACS FATA. The check-posts established for the collection of various taxes have been directed to be removed immediately,” it said.

The ACS has been tasked to publish the instruction for the reach of general public and also to give dedicated helpline number to receive complaints regarding violation of these instructions.

To meet the needs of money after the abolishing of the agency development fund, the ACS has been directed to immediately take up a case with the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions to provide the requisite funds in lieu of Agency Development Fund in the regular budget for the remaining period of the current financial year and for the coming fiscal year 2018-19 too.


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