ISLAMABAD: Seeking explanation over suspension of prime minister’s farmer relief package by October 13, the Islamabad High Court issued a notice to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday summoning its official in the case filed by government of Pakistan.
The two-member-bench comprising of Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi and Amir Farooq while hearing the case pertaining to the suspension of ‘National Kissan Relief Package’, rejected the request filed by the government to issue an immediate stay order against the ECP’s ‘questionable orders’.
The bench maintained that an urgent stay order will further complicate the situation and issued a notice to ECP seeking an explanation over its decision.
The federal government on Wednesday had challenged the suspension of a Rs341 billion relief package for farmers by ECP in the IHC.
The implementation of portions of the National Kissan Relief Package was suspended by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last week. The package was announced less than three weeks after the schedule for local government elections had been issued in Punjab and Sindh.
The ECP took suo motu notice of the announcement ahead of the local government elections and summoned the secretaries of the Food Security and Information ministries to justify the announcement of the package and its promotion in print and electronic media.
The [petition stated that] the package was not aimed at local election voters, and that the issuance and implementation of the Kissan package constitutes a purely executive function of the federal government.
It claimed that the relief package has no nexus with the elections, including the upcoming local government elections in Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad and was to be implemented in all four provinces,
It said that the election commission cannot prevent the federal government from fulfilling its legal and constitutional responsibility.
The prime minister had announced a relief package of Rs341 billion on September 15 to revive the farm sector.
The package provides a direct benefit of Rs147bn to small farmers across the country whereas an additional loan of Rs194bn will be available to the agriculture sector.
The ECP code of conduct for LG polls in Sindh and Punjab categorically states that the political parties and candidates participating in the elections shall not offer or announce any financial help to any person or institution after the announcement of schedule for elections.
Nov 15, 2017 0
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