The National Assembly’s standing committee on finance decided on Monday to move the issue of releasing Rs21bn for Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections back to parliament.
During the consultative meeting of the body presided over by Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh in which Law Minister Nazir Tarar and Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar, Minister of State for Finance, Revenue Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha and Deputy Governor State Bank also participated.
Addressing the participants, Azam Nazir Tarar said the centre keeps an account of every single penny of the federal consolidated fund, adding it is not in the country’s favour to spend money on dual polls.
While Aisha Ghaus said If the National Assembly approves, the funds will be released as the finance division cannot use funds without the approval of the Cabinet and National Assembly.
She stated that the matter is now in the hands of parliament, which is the supreme authority as stated in the Constitution.
The minister emphasized that the SBP is authorized to allocate funds, but cannot disburse them until receiving proper instructions from the Finance Division.
She further elaborated that the Finance Division can only take action based on orders from the federal cabinet. It is now at the discretion of the federal cabinet to decide whether to present the matter to parliament.
In summary, Pasha has entrusted the matter to parliament, as it is the highest authority in the country, and emphasized the importance of proper instructions from the Finance Division before funds can be disbursed. The federal cabinet has the power to take the matter to parliament, and if parliament approves, the funds will be released promptly.