'Pay up or face the music', Gandapur warns Centre

K-P CM puts govt on notice over payments and chronic power outages

Our Correspondent May 18, 2024
PTI leader Ali Amin Gandapur. SCREENGRAB/FILE


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur on Friday gave the federal government a stern 15-day deadline to come to the table for talks and tackle the province’s pressing issues, including overdue payments and chronic power outages.

In a fiery speech on the floor of the K-P Assembly, Gandapur aired his grievances about the Centre’s financial snip, which saw K-P’s funds slashed by a staggering Rs300 billion this fiscal year.

The CM lamented that despite this hefty cut, K-P must still fork over Rs96 billion in surplus to the federal government, as dictated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stipulations. He pledged that the province would meet this financial obligation by June 30.

He criticised other provinces for not playing by the rules and making it clear that K-P won’t sit idly by while its people are shortchanged. He asserted that the province is entitled to receive Rs50 billion in funds within the next two months, a claim that he insisted must be honoured.

Gandapur put the federal government on notice, warning of a strong backlash if a concrete timeline for addressing the province’s core issues isn’t provided, including the payment of dues, new taxes, promised funds for maintaining law and order, power shortages, and special allocations for tribal areas.

He asserted that the Centre owes a whopping Rs1,510 billion in electricity payments. The chief minister called on the federal government to make good on its promises.

Read Gandapur demands reduction in loadshedding, threatens to take over PESCO

Addressing the issue of the province's outstanding electricity payments, Gandapur pointed the finger at the federal government for the worsening economic situation. He noted that the people of K-P have been unable to pay Rs120 billion worth of electricity bills due to the adverse effects on the national economy.

The chief minister also vowed that he would not permit anyone to cut off electricity connections throughout the province.

Pointing a stern finger at the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), Gandapur declared, "The Wapda officer is duty-bound to serve this province. If he fails to provide relief to the masses, I hold the power to take over his office."

The K-P chief executive also warned that he would press charges and imprison anyone attempting to deprive the people of their rightful dues. He issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Centre to engage in dialogue to find a dialogue.

He said that no new taxes would be imposed on the people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) without his approval, in line with the 18th Amendment.

The chief minister responded to sharp criticism by announcing plans to enhance the health insurance card scheme. He also declared his intention to introduce a resolution against illegal recruitment.

CM Gandapur pledged that the provincial government would generate employment opportunities through technical education programs. Additionally, he promised that development projects would be completed in the "Form-47" constituencies.


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