— ECP summons finance secretary for non-provision of funds

— ‘No crisis’ in meeting ECP’s financial needs; sats Solangi

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday took notice and summoned the Secretary of Finance for non-provision of allocated funds reserved for the general elections 2024, sources said on Monday.

Sources close to the development revealed that a total of Rs 42 billion was reserved for the preparation of the general election 2024 in the financial year budget, while the Ministry of Finance has only released Rs 10 billion so far.

Sources within the ECP state that the remaining funds for the election are being interrupted without any prior justification from the ministry, as the electoral watchdog is currently in need of Rs 17 billion immediately.

The ECP sources claimed to pen down a reminder and approached the Ministry of Finance repeatedly for the provision of election funds, but failed to get any positive response.

Sources claimed that the ECP chief has decided to inform the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and will write a detailed letter regarding the non-provision of funds.

Information minister says ‘no crisis’ in meeting ECP’s financial needs

Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said on Monday that there was ‘no crisis’ in meeting the financial needs of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ahead of the Feb 8 polls.

“There is no crisis on meeting the financial needs of the ECP,” he said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). Whatever budgeted amount is needed by the ECP will be released as per its needs accordingly,” he said.

 

The statement came after media outlets reported that the commission had summoned the finance secretary today after the ministry had “failed” to provide the funds allocated for general elections.

Solangi added that the federal cabinet had already approved Rs42 billion for the ECP’s “budgetary needs”, adding that Rs10bn had already been released. The minister said the electoral watchdog had approached the government to release Rs17.4bn out of the remaining budgeted amount.

“We firmly stand behind the ECP in holding free and fair elections as mandated by Article 218(3) of the constitution,” the information minister concluded.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Imdadullah Bosal visited the ECP headquarters in Islamabad earlier today. During a brief interaction with the media while leaving the premises, he said the finance department would release the funds required for the upcoming elections.

“We will release the funds […] in two days,” Bosal said. “Whatever their (ECP’s) need is,” he added.

Last week, the ECP had rejected what it said were “baseless and misleading” reports about a delay in the upcoming general elections.

The statement had come in response to media reports that a request was submitted to the ECP to postpone the general elections, citing security concerns in Balochistan and the recent wave of terrorism.

The ECP and President Arif Alvi had agreed earlier this month on Feb 8, 2024, as the date for polls — an announcement that has stirred activity in the camps of major political parties.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By RelationsTimes
Load More In Latest News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

E-Paper 15th of April 2024