The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to turn to the top court for help in recovering its outstanding net hydel profits, The Express Tribune has learnt.
“The federal administration owes the K-P government Rs134 billion for the last several years,” said an insider. “But Islamabad keeps delaying the matter.”
He said the provincial government has already filed a case with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra). “The final decision to approach the Supreme Court over the matter depends on Nepra’s pending response.”
The K-P government has been striving for an amicable solution to the issue, he added. “But all of its efforts have yielded no positive results.”
The source said the matter was initially presented before the Council of Common Interests, but the federal administration has yet to put the issue on the agenda.
The provincial government has asked its legal and constitutional experts to prepare for the worst in case the centre continues to ignore K-P’s demands, he added.
A senior law officer said that so far the province has been trying to resolve the matter through negotiations. “But now we are being forced to initiate a legal battle.”
He said: “The federal administration’s decision of depriving the provincial government of its due economic rights, particularly not releasing the outstanding dues of net hydel profits, has negatively affected K-P’s financial condition.”
K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has already approached Nepra over the matter, which has been dragged on for years.
On September 8, Khattak himself argued in court where the provincial and federal governments presented their points of view.
“We are waiting for Nepra’s decision,” said the law officer. “We shall approach the apex court in case the regulatory body does not give us a satisfactory reply.”
Arguing its case before Nepra, the K-P government claimed that despite the unfortunate financial situation of the province, the federal administration has not provided K-P its due rights, especially not releasing the outstanding dues of net hydel profit, causing severe financial complications for the province and its people.
“The K-P government has already been protesting against the federal administration’s unfair attitude,” said the law officer. He said Islamabad had ignored the province in the Public Sector Development Scheme and was not giving its due share in mega development schemes.
Before approaching Nepra, the K-P government had tried all possible avenues to negotiate with the federal administration, but to no avail, he added.
According to a senior official in Islamabad, the finance ministry has assured the provincial government that a formula is already being worked out for clearing K-P’s outstanding dues.
The K-P law officer confirmed that the federal administration has asked the provincial government to hang on until it receives a final word from the finance ministry over the issue of outstanding dues.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2015.