Saturday, September 25, 2021

Task force working to remove bottlenecks in Fata merger process, NA told


ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Tuesday informed the National Assembly that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor is working to remove bottlenecks and accelerate the process of merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The minister stated this while responding to a Calling Attention Notice regarding, slow process of the merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the delimitation process in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is in final stages to conduct elections in Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said the tribal agencies have been re-designated as districts and sub divisions of KPK. Similarly, he said that the posts of political agents and assistant political agents have also been re-designated as Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners.

He said that Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner had been given magisterial power in FATA. For the resolution of health related issues of people of FATA, he said that all FATA agencies had been linked with the Secretariat Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Ali Muhammad Khan said that all the vehicles in the FATA areas had been given tax exemption for five years. The locally produced products, he said, had also been given five years tax exemption.

The minister said that the federal government will provide Rs 1.63 billion for the development of these tribal districts.

A constitutional amendment bill for the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was passed in the National Assembly in May this year.

According to the constitution amendment, FATA will be granted sixteen general seats, four seats for women and one seat for non-Muslims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. The elections shall be held within one year after the general elections.

The amendment reduces the number of seats in the National Assembly from 342 to 336. The members of the National Assembly from FATA to be elected in 2018 election shall continue till dissolution of the Lower House.

Furthermore, the number of seats of Senate has been reduced to 96 from 104. The existing members of the Senate from FATA shall continue till expiry of their respective terms of office.

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