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Miftah berates KP finance minister for writing letter to IMF

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail was addressing a press conference.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail appealed to the world to provide assistance to flood victims after torrential rains devastated the country.

Addressing a press conference along with Information Minister Marriyum Aurganzeb, the federal minister said the current situation is worse than the 2010 floods. He said the prime minister visited parts of Sindh and will reach Hyderabad tomorrow. “The prime minister told me Sukkur has turned into the River Indus,” he exclaimed.

He said the situation in Taank and Dera Ismail Khan of Khyber Pakhthunkhwa was severe, adding that even the 2010 floods had not caused so much destruction. He said rains have broken all records in Karachi.

Miftah Ismail said he was very disheartened by a letter written to him by KP Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra. He said Fawad Chaudhary said Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will not cooperate with the federal government and the IMF deal will be broken.

“Why the finance minister has now sent this letter to the IMF? What was the need of the Finance Minister to write such a letter today?” he questioned.

“Couldn’t you could not wait for ten days? If there is no government of Imran Khan, the should we put everything at stake.” He said the country has experienced the worst flood in history and the provincial finance minister is doing politics.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra has conveyed to the Ministry of Finance his administration’s inability to provide a provincial surplus this year, a key requirement agreed upon for the revival of the IMF programme.

The federal government had in July agreed in the Memorandum of Economic and Fiscal Policies signed with the IMF to present a MoU signed by provincial governments to jointly provide around Rs750 billion cash surplus to the Centre.

The KP government later became a signatory to the MoU, essentially agreeing to run a surplus, after the federal government assured it would address the province’s concerns.

In a letter to Ismail, the provincial finance minister maintained that “it will be next to impossible” for the provincial government to ensure the surplus without the resolution of issues highlighted earlier.

He also pointed out heavy financial losses inflicted to the provincial infrastructure due to rains and floods among the reasons behind KP’s inability to run a surplus.

He said the government should have resolved the budget allocations for ex-FATA which were decided at the discretion of the federal government in the absence of an updated NFC award,

He also reminded the government to commit to monthly transfers of net hydel profits as per terms specified in a MoU signed between the federal and provincial governments in 2016. Jhagra stressed the need for the revival of the National Finance Commission Award immediately.

He said the federal government must also commit to immediately engage and resolve other financial issues with the Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

The provincial minister said the situation had become more challenging due to extreme flooding wreaking havoc in Swat, DI Khan and Taank.




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