PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti on Wednesday ruled out imposition of flood tax in the province and said that undisputed dams should be constructed on priority basis instead of Kalabagh Dam, which was a dead issue.
Talking to journalists after distributing plot allotment letters among members of the Peshawar Press Club, the chief minister said that situation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was totally different from the three provinces as it had been badly affected both by record-breaking floods and militancy.
He added that the government could not put extra burden on poor masses by imposing flood tax.
People from various walks of life including businessmen and traders community were badly affected by terrorism, he said, adding that he can’t not consider appropriate to put extra burden on poor people by imposing flood tax.
To provide relief to flood and militancy affected people, he said, work on new developmental projects had been suspended by the government with an objective to help overcome problems of masses.
The devastation of floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was more than other provinces, he said and added that funds should be given to provinces on the basis of damages.
When asked about the Punjab Assembly’s resolution on Kalabagh Dam, the chief minister said, “It is a dead issue and a closed chapter. Let it remain a close chapter.”
He said that he respected the mandate of Punjab Assembly but disagreed with the resolution.
Kalabagh Dam may be fruitful for Punjab but not for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as we have witnessed a massive devastation due to recent floods in Nowshera, Charsadda and other downstream districts. He said that Kalabagh Dam was a disputed project and it would not be tolerated.
The chief minister said that undisputed dams should be constructed for storage of water and generation of electricity to cater to the needs of agriculture, power and economy.
Referring to Watan Cards, Mr Hoti said that the distribution process had already been started from Nowshera and priority was being given to those victims whose houses had been destroyed or damage by floods.
The distribution process of Watan Cards would be completed within 75 days and delay would not be tolerated, he added.—APP