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Punjab wants Mangla, Ghazi Barotha royalty
08-29-2009, 07:15 AM
Post: #1
Punjab wants Mangla, Ghazi Barotha royalty
* Provincial finance minister says Punjab supports NWFP’s net hydel profit claim against WAPDA

By Sajid Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government will formally claim royalty on the Mangla Dam and Ghazi Barotha hydropower projects, said Punjab Finance Minister Tanveer Ashraf Kaira on Friday.

Addressing reporters, the minister said Punjab was entitled to net hydel profits from Mangla Dam and Ghazi Barotha, under constitutional provisions.

“We have told the National Finance Commission that Mangla royalty belongs to Punjab, because the federal government has already turned down a royalty claim by Azad Jammu and Kashmir,” said the minister.

He said the Punjab government had not yet worked out the actual amount the province would get as Mangla hydel profits, but the sum payable by WAPDA on account of Ghazi Barotha was Rs 18 billion at the rate of Rs 3 billion a year. The Ghazi Barotha project was commissioned around six years ago.

Supports: Kaira said Punjab fully supported NWFP’s claim for net hydel profits, and called on WAPDA to resolve the matter with the NWFP government “sooner than later”.

Asked if former Punjab chief minister Ghulam Haider Wayn was signatory to a document that forfeited Punjab’s right to royalty for Ghazi Barotha, the minister said Wayen had taken an unconstitutional step.

Dismissing the concerns raised by NWFP and Balochistan over Punjab’s presentation at the NFC meeting on Friday, the minister said although people in the province made up 57 percent of Pakistan’s population, Punjab had been getting a 47 percent share from the NFC, which “is less than our due share”.

Quoting figures on the availability of per capita resources in all four provinces, he said Punjab was “behind” the rest of the provinces. He said that based on other social indicators, poverty in Punjab was at the same level as Balochistan.
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