KP wants net hydel profit uncapped

Posted on June 14, 2011. Filed under: Hydal |

PESHAWAR, June 13: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to take up with the centre the issue of uncapping net hydel profit, which has been lingering on for over a year.

“The attitude of Wapda is somewhat discouraging. It appears it doesn’t want resolution of the issue,” Sahibzada Mohammad Saeed, provincial secretary finance, told a post-budget press conference here on Monday.

Finance Minister Humayun Khan, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and secretaries of provincial departments were also present on the occasion and responded to the questions of journalists.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had constituted a technical committee, comprising officials from the provincial and federal governments and Wapda, to come up with recommendations for devising a permanent formula for working out the net hydel profit, capped in 1991-92 at Rs6 billion annually.

Technical committee constituted for the resolution of the matter has held several meetings, but it could not reach any conclusion mainly because of indifferent attitude of Wapda, explained Mr Saeed.

According to him, the chief minister had written a letter to the prime minister, seeking his intervention to resolve the issue that was supposed to be settled within one month.

He said the prime minister would address the issue after passage of the federal budget, adding, “we are pretty confident that something good for the province will come out.” Earlier, the finance minister while commenting on the next budgetary proposals tabled in the provincial assembly, said efforts were being made to increase revenue receipts that were hardly 3 per cent of the entire budget at the moment.

Revenue from royalty on oil and gas was growing annually and it had reached Rs16 billion this year, he said and added that the earning from hydropower generation will also be increased from the current Rs2.11 billion in addition to the net hydel profit.

The minister said that the provincial government was undertaking a number of hydel power generation projects, which after completion would enhance the province earning.

To a question, he clarified that arrears from the federal government on net hydel profit were being spent on income generating projects other than hydropower projects.

To a question, an official of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) explained that last year floods had inflicted a loss of Rs105 billion on the provincial infrastructure. He explained the provincial government suspended the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for 45 days for relief and rehabilitation of the victims.

The PDMA, he said, had so far disbursed Rs5.81 billion among the households affected in floods, adding the first phase would be over by June 25, while the second installment of Rs40,000 would be disbursed after that.

Secretary Planning and Development Salim Khan explained that the provincial government had initiated 154 schemes of rehabilitation at a cost of Rs14 billion, adding that most of the schemes related to early rehabilitation of flood-hit areas had been completed, while the remaining would be completed by the end of next financial year.

Mr Khan explained that the provincial government was giving priority to productive sectors, adding that Japan International Cooperation Agency and Asian Development Bank were providing financial assistance for reconstruction of roads and hydel power stations in the province.The finance minister further explained that the provincial government had tried to extend maximum relief to the masses in the budget and proposed a number of public welfare schemes.

To a question, the minister clarified that the professional tax levied on the professional colleges in the private sector would not hurt the students because the government would make sure that these colleges did not pass on its impact.

Dawn.com

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