Can’t release poll funds without constitutional procedure: Dar


SBP cannot give money on its own

Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar has said that the government cannot release funds for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa without following the procedure mentioned in the Constitution, adding that the State Bank of Pakistan cannot give money on its own.

Addressing a session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, Dar said that the Election Commission of Pakistan has asked for a budget of Rs54 billion for the 2022-23 general elections, which is significantly higher than the allocated amount of Rs5 billion.

He also highlighted that there would be an additional expense of Rs14 billion for the early elections, questioning whether the polls can be held within 90 days even if the required funds are disbursed.

Despite economic difficulties, he said Rs35 billion are being spent on the current census, which is facing serious challenges. “Efforts are being made to complete the census despite the difficulties,” he added.

Dar questioned whether Pakistan can afford the current financial predicament for much longer and mentioned that the country is emerging from the worst economic crisis.
He also emphasised that the present government did not put the country in the worst economic crisis and added that in 2018, Pakistan was the 24th emerging economy in the world.