On Tuesday, the Pakistani Election Commission presented the Supreme Court with a report detailing the distribution of election funding in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
When the report was finalized, the top election commissioner presided over the ECP meeting.
The report said that despite a Supreme Court ruling, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has still not transferred Rs21 billion into the ECP account. The ECP stated that it was difficult to make election preparations without sufficient resources.
Remember that Monday was the second deadline for complying with the Supreme Court’s directives to transfer monies to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Yesterday (Monday), the National Assembly disregarded a Supreme Court judgment and again rejected a summary for an additional grant tabled for releasing the money.
On April 4, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar issued an order requiring the government to transfer Rs21 billion to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for polls by April 10 and requesting a report from the ECP by April 11.
However, the government took the case to Parliament, and the legislature flatly refused to obey the court’s order.
On April 14, the Supreme Court issued a summons to the SBP governor, the ECP, the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP), and Mansoor Awan. The SBP was ordered to fully account for any federal funds in its possession.
The SBP was given until April 17 to disburse FCF funds for elections after the in-chamber hearing.
NA Finance Committee meeting
On Monday, the Standing Committee on Finance of the National Assembly met and forwarded the summary delivered by Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar to the National Assembly to the Federal Cabinet, which forwarded it back to the National Assembly.
After the Standing Committee on Finance meeting, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghaus-Pasha made the announcement.
She said that legislative clearance was necessary before any monies could be dispersed. No bill or budget is valid under the law until Parliament has approved it.
As a result, we’ll let the legislature decide for itself. According to our constitution, Parliament is the highest authority in our country.
About Monday’s gathering, she said the SBP could only assign the funds but not distribute them.
Only the federal cabinet can direct the Finance Department to take action. The cabinet is responsible for raising the issue in Parliament. She also said the money would be dispersed today, provided Parliament approved it.