Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govt rejects allegations levelled by former chief of energy body

chief 24india news

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has said that Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) Chairman Shakeel Durrani has decided to resign from his position due to personal reasons.

“The official was asking irrelevant question about development projects of the government;” said Minister for Power and Energy Muhammad Atif Khan on Thursday.

Responding to opposition leader’s remarks during Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s supplementary budget session, Khan rejected the allegations levelled by Durrani and said that he was objecting to operational matters and micro hydel projects. He said that 30 of the 356 micro hydel power projects had already been completed and now they were supplying low-cost electricity to 350,000 people. He said that completion of the remaining projects would provide low-cost electricity to one million people.

“Durrani, former chairman of WAPDA, was the head of the most corrupt and mismanaged company of the country,” Khan alleged. He said that he would go to the court and prove charges of corruption against Durrani if he accuses him of corruption.

Khan said the provincial government would recruit 55,000 teachers across the province next year. He said the number of teachers hired by the provincial government would reach 83,000 till completion of its constitutional tenure. He said that 26,000 play areas would be constructed at primary schools. He said that another 10,000 plays areas would be constructed at primary schools in the next 10 years. He cited a survey as saying that around 34,000 students left private schools and got admission to government schools across the province.

Earlier, leader of the opposition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Maulana Lutf-ur-Rehman opened the debate on the supplementary budget for 2016-17. He said the supplementary budget showed “competence” of the government, which presented a deficit budget. The opposition leader was critical of transfer of funds from one scheme to another. He said the one billion trees project was initiated without any planning and there was no mention of it in the budget of the outgoing financial year. He said the scheme was started with a token fund and later Rs 3.70 billion were spent on it. He asked the government to explain how it diverted funds for one project to another.

Rehman said that scandals were surfacing against the provincial government and the latest episode was the resignation of the chairman as well as members of the Board of Directors of the PEDO. He said the PEDO chairman stated that the provincial government was working without any planning. He said the opposition had called for constitution of a judicial commission headed by the chief justice of the Peshawar High Court on the issue of the Bank of Khyber. He said that judicial commission’s report on the matter should be presented to the provincial assembly. He said the provincial government led by the PTI had been quite busy on the social media for the last three years and doing nothing on the ground.

Rehman said the government had failed so far to improve the health sector, abolish the corrupt revenue system, strengthen the provincial economy and attract the investors.

On this occasion, Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentary leader in the provincial assembly Sardar Hussain Babak asked the government to inform the opposition about the cost of the one billion trees project and the areas where these trees had been planted. He said the project was a big scandal and the media was continuously highlighting it.

Treasury member Ishtiaq Umar said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was facing the threat of climate change and the provincial government launched the one billion trees project to save the next generation from the impact of the climate change. He said that 18 million tree samples were grown in the province after launch of the one billion trees project, adding the WWF conducted a survey and appreciated the performance of the provincial government.

Saleem Khan, an MPA from Chitral, said the government did not do anything after floods hit his area. He said that roads and bridges in his area had not been constructed so far.

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