PESHAWAR - The Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattak, has asked the federal government to release its share of Rs 20 billion to the province for universal access to education, gender empowerment, mother-child healthcare, good governance and other public welfare schemes.

The provincial government had already diverted its share of Rs 20 billion for the developmental initiatives in these social sectors, Khattak said.

As per formula the federal government would have to arrange a matching grant which the federal government was yet to arrange for efficient services in these sectors and tackling the governance related issues, he added. He was presiding over a high level meeting at Chief Minister’s House, which was attended by Chief Secretary, Secretary Finance, Principal Secretary to CM and other concerned officers.

The chief minister said the federal government must release resources for the schemes in these sectors, as a matching grant that was earlier agreed, otherwise the schemes in these sectors could not be completed in time and the objectives behind them could not be achieved.

The objectives behind these schemes were set under the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals programs.

Pervez Khattak said that the planning commission in the fiscal year 2016-17 had pledged that the federal government would arrange matching grant to the provincial governments if they invested in the universal access to education, gender empowerment, mother healthcare, good governance and other public welfare schemes as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals that was subsequently renamed as Sustainable Development Goals.

The philosophy behind these goals was to ensure efficient services in these sectors. He said the provincial government had pro-poor agenda. It wanted to use the resources on the poor instead of lavish spending. His government invested an additional amount of Rs 20 billion for universal access to education, gender empowerment, mother child healthcare, good governance, transparency and introducing new style of pro-poor governance in the province.

He said the federal government had to arrange matching grant but it was yet to arrange it. He said that he didn’t know the reasons why the federal government had delayed response to all the releases to the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and why the federal government was constantly short to fulfil all the promises with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pervez Khattak said that the investment in these sectors was made by his government under the laid down formula but still the federation was not efficient to fulfil its commitment as compared to the provincial government.

He directed the finance department to raise the issues of releases with the federal government including the releases of net hydel and other shares of the province in the developmental strategy.

He would not give up on the provincial rights and would not allow the provincial rights to be usurped, Khattak said.