Government releases Rs 7.54bn funds to opp in Punjab
By: Kashif Hussain
LAHORE: The federal government on Monday issued development funds worth Rs 7.54 billion to the Punjab Assembly lawmakers of the PPP and PML-Q after they filed complaints against Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif for not releasing funds.
Former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani made a commitment to the PPP lawmakers to provide them funds for the completion of different developmental projects in their constituencies.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government halted the funds of the PPP and PML-Q in Punjab. The former PM had announced to provide development funds to PML-Q members as a goodwill gesture for supporting the PPP-led government in the Centre.
Before Gilani’s disqualification by the Supreme Court as the prime minister in a contempt case, he had earmarked Rs 50 million to all 108 MPAs belonging to the PPP and the PML-Q in two installments — first installment of Rs 30 million and second of Rs 20 million. When he was disqualified, last installment of Rs 20 million was pending due to which several projects of the lawmakers came to a standstill.
The MPAs forced new Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to release remaining Rs 20 million to complete their continued projects. The PM issued orders in this regard and the Finance Department has released the amount immediately. Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Raja Riaz Ahmad, has also confirmed this during a press conference in his chamber on Monday.
Sources told Daily Times that the developmental funds have been distributed among 83 and 25 lawmakers of the PPP and PML-Q respectively, while another 30 lawmakers elected on reserved and minorities seats has not been provided funds as they have no constituencies.
Talking about opposition benches’ relations with the ruling party, some of the PPP members said the Punjab government was politically victimising them to dent their reputation in their constituencies. They said the PML-N would not succeed as the PM had released funds for them.