Balochistan CM storms out of meeting over reduced federal PSDP

By: News Desk
Published: 02:39 PM, 4 Jun, 2020
Balochistan CM storms out of meeting over reduced federal PSDP
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Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal and Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Buledi walked out of the Annual Planning Coordination Committee meeting, saying the federal government Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) had been finalised without any consultation, sources said.

According to 24NewsHD TV channel, Jam Kamal said they fully realised the nature of the overall situation but finalising the matters without consultations wasn’t a right approach.

“We are allies, we should be taken into confidence,” said the chief minister, adding, “We are answerable to the people to Balochistan.”

During the meeting, sources say, Jam Kamal said they had protested against the past governments over the same attitude.

Talking to media, Buledi criticised the Centre over the move and said the Centre wasn’t serious about the development of Balochistan, adding that an entire scheme costing Rs162 billion was removed from the PSDP.

The points raised by the provincial government were not taken at the meeting despite the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed to increase Balochistan’s share in the federal PDSP, he added.

The Annual Plan Coordination Committee – chaired by Adviser to the PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh – is underway via video link Thursday to review the ongoing fiscal year and proposed annual PDSP of the federal government for 2020-21.

This criticism of Balochistan over the federal government’s PDSP comes as the NFC Award and the 18th Amendment are already in the news with some members of the ruling party calling for slashing the provinces share.

Commenting on the issue, PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last month warned that the country would be destroyed if the NFC Award share of provinces was slashed but the Centre won’t get any benefit.

Any cut in the provinces shares would mean less spending on health and education which are provincial subjects, he added.

The only thing coming out of the government’s stance is that the 18th Amendment is the reason behind the coronavirus pandemic, he remarked.

The provinces have already been receiving less money under the NFC Award, as Punjab is facing a severe financial crunch with the budget deficit soaring to the historic level of Rs6.64 trillion because it did not get the complete share of Rs10 trillion from the Centre. Instead, it received just Rs5.38 trillion in the current financial year.

Similarly, the Centre cut Sindh’s share by Rs233 billion, resulting a financial crisis and making the provincial government curtail provincial PSDP.