Release of Rs21 billion for elections: SBP, ECP submit reports in SC

The Supreme Court (SC) received reports from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) about the release of Rs21 billion for the elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In a decision on April 4, a three-member SC bench, made up of Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar, gave the instructions for the release of the monies.

The government was required by the Supreme Court to give the ECP Rs21bn by April 10 in order to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the ECP was instructed to report on the government’s compliance with the decision on April 11.

However, the administration brought the issue to Parliament, which disobeyed the court’s directives and declined to release the money.

The Supreme Court received a report from the electoral monitor last week that was enclosed in a sealed envelope.

The court then ordered the SBP to deliver an “appropriate communication” to the finance ministry by April 17 informing them to release Rs21 billion for elections from Account No I, which is a major portion of the Federal Cons­olidated Fund worth Rs1.39 trillion.

On Monday, SBP allotted the cash and requested approval from the finance minister to disburse the money.

Through NA, the coalition government was able to have its own proposal for Rs 21 billion in supplemental funding for the ECP to organize elections in the two provinces rejected.