MUZAFFARABAD: (Parliament Times) A high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan held here on Wednesday regarding completion of development schemes and payments of arrears of AJK Council.
The meeting decided that payment of arrears would be made of only those schemes that have either been completed or are underway. The mechanism of payment of other schemes would be elaborated later on, it decided.
The meeting was attended by minister for works Ch. Muhammad Aziz, minister for health Dr. Najeeb Naqi, chief secretary Mathar Niaz Rana, principal secretary Irshad Qureshi, secretary local government and rural development Ijaz Ahmed Khan and DG local government Sardar Gul Zaman Khan.
The meeting was told that AJK government was not handed over the record of Council as a result payment could not be made. The payment of arrears of schemes amounting to 28 crore of members Kashmir Council have been made through local government. The meeting was told that there was income of 17 billion rupees in the approved budget for 2017-18 of Council while expenses came to 19 billion rupees. Hence there was deficit of 2 billion rupees.
The meeting was also told that AJK government was paying administrative expenditures and salaries of staff of Kashmir Council from its budget. After the 13th amendment Council’s arrears and assets that had to be transferred to AJK government could not be materialized yet.
The meeting constituted a high level committee comprising of Ch. Muhammad Aziz, Dr. Najeeb Naqi, Mathar Niaz Rana, Syed Asif Hussain, Fareed Tarar, and Ishaque Khan to make joint efforts in consultation with Kashmir Council to complete ongoing schemes and payment of arrears. It would review the entire process and submit its recommendations.
Addressing the meeting Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan pointed out that privatization of Kashmir property could not be carried out under rules. He said Kashmir property was handed over to minister of Kashmir affairs during martial law regime. He expressed hope that in view of privatization in Pakistan protection of Kashmir property would be ensured. He said the development wing of Council has ended. He said there was no logic for returning 20% administrative expenditure. He said salaries and pension of Kashmir council was being paid by AJK government. He said there was no suggestion under consideration for restoration of development fund of council and underscored the need of a mechanism regarding development schemes and payment of arrears of the Council to settle down all the issues. He assured that AJK government under 13th amendment would fulfil its obligations.