Finance secretary summoned by ECP over non-provision of election funds

Rs17 billion are urgently needed for holding general elections on February 8, sources say

A security personnel stands guard at the headquarters of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad on September 21, 2023. — AFP
  • Rs42bn allocated for polls in budget 2023-24.
  • Ministry has given Rs10bn to ECP so far.
  • ECP says Rs17bn are urgently needed for polls.

As the general elections in Pakistan are swiftly approaching D-day, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has revealed concerns regarding the non-provision of funds by the government.

Geo News learnt from sources that the electoral body has summoned the finance secretary after the ministry was irresponsive regarding the provision of funds, allocated for the polls, in the budget.

The development comes as Pakistan is preparing for general polls scheduled to take place on February 8, 2024.

The government, as per the sources, had allocated Rs42 billion for the general elections in the current financial year’s budget. The Finance Ministry, however, only provided Rs10 billion to the ECP so far, they added.

Disbursement of the remaining amount, according to the sources, is being delayed without any reasonable justification.

“Rs17 billion are urgently needed for holding the general elections on February 8.”

The sources told Geo News that the Finance Ministry was repeatedly approached for the provision of this amount, while a written reminder was also sent to the ministry for immediate provision of money.

However, no positive response has yet been given regarding the disbursement of money, they added.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has decided to inform the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar about the non-provision of funds by the finance ministry.

A detailed letter is also being written to the premier today, the sources said.

General elections 2024

Pakistan is now approaching elections with polls scheduled to be held on February 8 2024. All political parties have geared up for a face-off in the run-up to the elections, while the ECP has notified the final list of delimitation of constituencies of the national and four provincial assemblies.

The electoral watchdog is also expected to announce the election schedule, sometime this week. It had earlier stated that the final list of delimitations would be published on December 15 but it was later revised to November 30.

In its notification, the ECP said that according to Article 51(3) of the Constitution, the National Assembly consists of 266 general seats, with 60 seats reserved for women and additionally 10 for non-Muslims.

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