In a major development, the Supreme Court has directed the State Bank of Pakistan to release the funds for the Punjab elections.
According to the details, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court directed the State Bank of Pakistan to release Rs 21 billion in funds directly to the Election Commission of Pakistan for the Punjab Assembly elections.
The order was given during an in-chamber hearing of the case on the Punjab election delay. SBP Deputy Governor Sima Kamil, special secretary finance, additional secretary finance, ECP secretary and AGP Mansoor Usman Awan appeared before the bench.
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During the hearing today, judges expressed annoyance over the non-implementation of the court orders and told the government that the orders will have to be implemented. The Attorney General also had to face tough questions on the stance of the government.
Supreme Court has directed State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to release Rs21 billion fund to Election Commission of Pakistan ( ECP) for holding elections of Punjab Assembly.
— Asad Kharal (@AsadKharal) April 14, 2023
The ECP, in a one-page report submitted earlier this week, informed the court about the government’s reluctance to issue the amount needed for elections. The government, meanwhile, had referred the matter to Parliament to decide. A day earlier, the parliament defied the SC order and refused to issue the elections funds.
Subsequently, the top court issued notices to the finance secretary, SBP governor, AGP Awan and the ECP, directing them to appear before the judges’ chamber on April 14.
It had also directed the SBP to submit the record and details of all monies whatsoever of the federal government lying with or under the control, custody or management of the bank.
On behalf of the government, the AGP submitted a two-page document to the court detailing the federal coalition’s stance on the matter. The AGP also told the Supreme Court that the government was helpless in the matter of releasing funds as the parliament had refused to provide funds.
Read more: Govt helpless on election funds issue, claims AGP