A multiparty conference here demanded of the federal government to announce the National Finance Commission Award and pay Rs 450 billion dues to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on account of net hydel profit in line with the AGN Qazi formula.

A joint declaration issued after the moot said the NFC had to be constituted every five years under Article 160 of the Constitution, while the distribution of resources between the centre and provinces was its responsibility. The Jamaat-i-Islami hosted the conference, which was attended by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party and Qaumi Watan Party.

The declaration said the commission had to announce the NFC award after every five years and seven awards had been announced since 1973. It added the last NFC Award was announced in 2010 and thus far PTI government has been unable to announce NFC award. `KP is suffering badly due to delay in the announcement of NFC Award, so the federal government should immediately announce the award,` it said.

The conference also demanded the centre to pay the province Rs 450 billion in line with the AGN Kazi committee`s report. It said the province produced 6,000 MW electricity while its own requirement was 1,500 MW and therefore, the federal government should ensure uninterrupted power supply to the province. The participants expressed dismay at the delay in the announcement of the NFC Award, which, they said, was badly affecting KP.

The declaration said the federal government should fulfil its constitutional responsibilities and announce 8th NFC Award forthwith. The conference observed that the four federating units had signed the Water Accord in 1991 for the distribution of the Indus water. It said KP did not have resources to utilise its share, while Punjab and Sindh had been utilising its share without payment.

The conference demanded of Punjab and Sindh to make the due payments to KP for utilising its waters and of the federal government to give resources to the province to utilise its share from the Indus.

The declaration said the centre should include Peshawar-Karachi railway line, Peshawar-Dera Ismail Khan Motorway, Chitral Chakdara-Gilgit Road, power generation projects and industrial parks in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative.

The participants expressed concern about a delay in the release of Rs83 billion allocated in the KP annual development programme 2019-20 for merged tribal districts. They said militancy and military operations had caused widespread destruction to infrastructure and health and education facilities. The participants said most residents of merged districts lived below the poverty line.

They asked both federal and provincial governments to release funds for development schemes across merged districts, ensure transparency in the utilisation of funds, compensate militancy affected people for their damages, and recruit 20,000 people in Levies and Khasadar forces.

The conference asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to stop arbitrary accountability of politicians and take action against people allegedly involved in Malam Jaba, Billion Tree Tsunami and Bus Rapid Transit Peshawar projects. Addressing the conference JI provincial chief Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan expressed concern over the state of economy and said new taxes had hit the people hit. He said the incidence of unemployment was increasing.

Senator Mushtaq said consumers in KP had been subjected to severe gas and electricity outages despite the production of surplus energy. He demanded the release of missing persons, removal of the anti-personnel mines from militancy-hit areas of the merged districts, and the release of Pakhtun leaders held in different areas of the country.

Information minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai said in the past, the governments did not focus on the development of infrastructure in tribal areas. He said the PTI government was committed to bringing the merged tribal districts on a par with the country`s settled areas. The minister said Rs83 billion allocated in the current budget would be utilised in merged districts.