ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) yesterday gave a go-ahead signal for implementation of Kissan Package but halted progress on one of its points till December 5.

Announcing judgment, Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan found no flaws in the implementation of the multi-billion package. However, he said the fifth point of the package regarding provision of monitory assistance to farmers having 12,500 acres of land be halted till December 5.

The CEC on the occasion gave permission to raise the aid amount from Rs2,000 to Rs4,000 whereas interest rate has been reduced for the cultivation of rice and cotton. The ECP had earlier directed authorities to halt implementation of the project as it was violation of code of conduct.

During the hearing, the CEC expressed his anger and dismay over the interference of courts in the ECP, saying the commission had to waste half of its time and energy in courts due to stay orders and interference of courts in election related matters. He said the courts do not have any authority to get in the way of ECP, saying the commission was a constitutional body and knew better how to conduct elections and implement its code of conducts.

The Kissan Package was announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledging Rs341 billion for farmers to boost agriculture triggering opposition parties to reject the package on grounds that the move was aimed at influencing local bodies polls. The ECP later ordered authorities not to implement the scheme citing reasons that the financial package was announced after the commission issued election schedule for LG polls. But the ECP’s decision was challenged by a court of law that set aside the decision of the commission.