ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk has said that the merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a landmark development promising positive impact on addressing the development lag and bringing a marked improvement in the lives of the people.
The prime minister stated while chairing a meeting to review progress on implementation of FATA Reforms at Prime Minister’s Office on Monday. The Prime Minister stressed upon the need for addressing the important administrative, legal and financial issues in this regard.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Law Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretaries of SAFRON, Finance and Planning Divisions, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ACS FATA and other senior officials.
Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Muhammad Azam Khan, made a detailed presentation on the implementation progress and pointed out various administrative, legal and financial issues that needed immediate attention to ensure smooth transition of the merger process after the passage of 25th Constitutional Amendment.
Briefing the meeting about the actions taken so far, the Chief Secretary said that the Agencies & FRs have been re-designated as Districts and Sub Divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the posts of Political Agents and Assistant Political Agents have been re-designated as Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners. It was informed that with the abolition of Agency Development Fund, collection of all taxes/ levy and rahdaries has been stopped. The meeting was informed that draft plans for extension of judiciary, policing, prosecution and prisons service in the Tribal Districts have also been prepared.
Member Federal Board of Revenue briefed the meeting about the tax exemptions and other financial incentives that have been provided to the people of erstwhile FATA and PATA for the next five years.
Secretary Finance also briefed the meeting about the financial allocations for the development of the region and for ensuring smooth implementation of the merger process.
A Committee was also constituted under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and comprising of Chief Secretary KP Mr. Muhammad Azam Khan, Advocate General KP, Home Secretary KP, ACS FATA, and representatives of the Finance, Revenue and Planning Divisions, to formulate a strategy for removing bottlenecks and making the merger process seamless. The Committee was directed to complete its work at the earliest possible.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the process of transition should be completed swiftly and it must provide a sense of security to the people of the erstwhile tribal areas. NNI