The provincial government has finally accepted the demands of the opposition benches for being provided with 35 per cent of development funds.
A government official, familiar with the development, told The Express Tribune on Tuesday that differences between the treasury and opposition benches in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly have been resolved after the intervention of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
A longstanding demand of the opposition, which was a bone of contention for the smooth proceedings of the provincial assembly, has been addressed, the official said.
Elaborating on this, the official said that both sides had agreed that the treasury benches will receive 65 per cent of development funds while the opposition benches will get 35 per cent of funds.
This means that each opposition lawmaker will get around Rs30.5 million, the official added.
A lawmaker from the opposition benches, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune that under the agreement, treasury lawmakers will be able to nominate development schemes for their respective constituencies apart from the Rs60.5 million in uplift funds they are provided.
The MPA, however, demanded that they should also be given uplift schemes along with development funds. He alleged that some people in the opposition and treasury benches, who are close to the chief minister, have been given more funds and development schemes than others.
The provincial government and opposition benches had been at loggerheads over the release of development funds for much of the last parliamentary year.
Last week, the opposition benches had once threatened to drag the government to court over the issue of uplift funds. Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Inayatullah Khan, during the assembly session on September 5, had said that opposition members were being ignored in the allocation of development funds despite government assurances.
He said opposition members have moved the court of law, but the government did not implement the verdict, forcing the opposition to seek help from the court again.
However, the K-P Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani had assured to address the issue at the earliest.
Minor boy raped in Tank
K-P Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani took notice of the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year-old boy in the Tank district. He directed the relevant authorities to submit a report in this regard by September 18.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) leader Mahmood Bettani raised the issue during the assembly session on Tuesday and urged the government to take notice of the issue.
Speaker Ghani also directed the law minister to expedite work on the draft of the bill for the protection of children and present it to the cabinet for approval.
Sehat Insaf Card
In response to a question from an opposition lawmaker, K-P Health Minister Taimur Jhagra said that all citizens of K-P will be provided with the Sehat Insaf Card by December. He added that the government is also considering using Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) for health purposes.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Nighat Orakzai walked out of the K-P Assembly session on Tuesday after she was not allowed to speak on the motorway rape incident. She alleged that women lawmakers are not being allowed to speak on issues of women.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2020.
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