–Federal government should release entire share under NFC for provinces, Kaira demands
LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira on Tuesday has said if the situation worsens due to coronavirus, the responsibility will fall on the prime minister and his cabinet, demanding the federal government should release the entire share to Punjab under the NFC.
While addressing a press conference after the PPP Lahore Division (Rural) video-link meeting in the PPP Punjab Secretariat, flanked by general secretary Chaudhary Manzoor Ahmed, and Information Secretary Syed Hassan Murtaza and other leaders, Kaira said that nowadays there is a debate lack of national consensus on coronavirus crises, and it was the responsibility of the federal government to establish the national consensus, and not the opposition’s job, in which it failed miserably.
“At the onset of the coronavirus, Bilawal Bhutto has offered full cooperation to the government to create a national consensus, but the federal government did not respond positively,” he said.
“The PPP leader said that war with corona is only possible through mutual cooperation and consensus if the situation worsens across the country, the prime minister and his cabinet would be responsible,” he warned.
“The Sindh government consulted with all to deal with the crisis,” he added.
“The Punjab government which is already suffering from financial difficulties has not been able to meet its target in collecting taxes, and its development, health, education and welfare budgets have been cut.,” he said.
“The federal government did not give a single rupee to Sindh for the corona crisis, in fact, it did not extend help to Punjab against the pandemic,” he added.
“Nothing was provided to the doctors who are front line soldiers in the war against corona,” he said.
“The Sindh government had proposed a complete lockdown in the first 15 days, and all the provinces of the country followed the steps of the Sindh government,” he recalled.
The PPP Central Punjab president noted that there is always room for amendments in the constitution for improvement but no compromise will be made on the fundamental human rights and the financial and administrative powers of the provinces.
He demanded the federal government should release the entire share under the NFC so the provinces, including Punjab, can deal with the coronavirus in a better way.
He alleged that the government had announced a package of Rs1,240 billion, but not a single penny delivered yet while quoting figures the PPP leader reminded that we had sought an explanation in this regard but did not get any reply.
“Punjab had to receive Rs1,601 billion but got Rs1,046 billion, the remaining is a shortfall, Punjab had a target of 284 in terms of taxes but 154 billion was collected, 693 billion was a debt which has reached 943 billion rupees, Rs63 billion are to be paid in interest, budgets of various departments in Punjab have been cut,” he said.
Qamar Zaman Kaira said that now the 18th Amendment is itself constitution, main forum of the 18th amendment is the parliament. The government has left the 18th Amendment to hide its incompetence from the coronavirus.
While criticising Imran Khan’s policies, Qamar Zaman Kaira warned that with this mindset and practice, corona cannot be dealt with. He maintained that the federal and Punjab government has failed to provide a national response to the coronavirus crisis.
The government is making matters controversial rather than developing national consensus.
“The government has started a debate on the 18th amendment to hide its incompetence from the coronavirus,” he alleged.