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Huge foreign loans acquired by KP government echo PA

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PESHAWAR: The issue of increasing the volume of foreign loans – more than 598 billion rupees – by the KP government echoed in the provincial assembly on Friday.

On a question from Rehana Ismail of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, he was informed that the KP government has so far acquired foreign loans of Rs 598.78 billion. Rehana Ismail said she requested an annual loan break. that the provincial government had received to date, but the Department of Finance in its response did not provide details and only mentioned the total figure.

She said the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal setup had reduced lending to 16 billion rupees from 18 billion previously, while the figure rose to 97 billion rupees during the coalition of the National Awami Party and the People’s Party. Pakistani (PPP). government. However, loans ballooned to over 500 billion rupees during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, she added.

‘Where would the loans be repaid from as the province has very limited resources?’ she asked a question, adding that most of the loans had been acquired for transport, particularly the Asian Development Bank loan for Bus Rapid Transit, which the government says is also in deficit.

In his response, Finance and Health Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra said that KP was the only province to have its own debt management unit which monitors how loans were acquired and repaid as well as the conditions for obtaining the loans.

He said the domestic loan was zero and there was a special account where the money was transferred from the consolidated fund, adding that the flour subsidy was disbursed from this account. The minister said the loans were acquired on easy terms.

“Loans are only acquired for major projects like BRT, Swat highway and Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan highway project which cannot be executed without foreign loans,” he said.

Jhagra said all projects carried out with foreign loans would generate revenue. However, he did not object to the request to send the matter to the committee as Rehana Ismail insisted that the matter should be discussed in the committee as to how the repayment of the loans would be done. managed and the province would shed that burden.

PPP’s Nighat Orakzai raised the issue of the salary of the KP Mediator for Protection from Harassment of Women in the Workplace which she said was only Rs 130,000 per month compared to her counterpart in Sind which draws 1.8 million rupees from it and in Punjab. , the salary was Rs 1.3 million.

She also demanded an increase in the salary of MPAs which she said was too low compared to Punjab and Sindh. Nighat Orakzai said the issue of MPA salary should be referred to the relevant committee and settled at the earliest.

She demanded the issuance of blue passports for AMPs as was the case for deputies. Naeema Kishwar of JEW supported this point and said that the KP Ombudsman for Protection from Harassment of Women in the Workplace had not received a salary for six months despite being very weak.

Justice Minister Fazal Shakoor, however, said the mediator’s salary was recently increased to Rs 255,250 per month and will be further increased over time.

Responding to the demand for an MPA salary increase, Taimur Jhagra said the point was valid as public officials should have a reasonable package but the House should be united on this so the issue is not used to score points later. However, he said the file was already with the chief minister.

The adjournment motion of Inayatullah Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami regarding the increase in drug prices was admitted for detailed discussion. Sahibzada Sanaullah’s notice of appeal regarding the non-attribution of official residences to assembly employees has been referred to the relevant committee. .

The House witnessed a heated debate over power shedding in the province as Fazle Elahi of the ruling PTI warned against forced restoration of power supply from grid station in his area if load shedding was not completed. He criticized the newly installed federal government for load shedding.

Vice President Mahmood Jan, who chaired the session, also complained and said the imported government was responsible for excessive load shedding. He said the head of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company would be called to the meeting to answer members’ question about the constituency power outages.

However, PPP’s Nighat Orakzai and JEW’s Mian Nisar Gul reminded Fazle Elahi and other treasury members why they kept quiet while the power remained off for hours under the PTI government. three and a half years unlike the Nawaz Sharif government.