The National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has taken notice that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was directed by the Supreme Court to release funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) without prior approval from the National Assembly. The Supreme Court issued the direction on April 4, 2023, in response to a petition titled “Mohammad Sibtain Khan and others vs ECP and others,” instructing the federal government to release Rs.21 billion for the general elections of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies. The Finance Division then placed the direction before the Federal Cabinet on April 9, 2023, to be considered before being presented as a bill to parliament. However, the bill was not approved by the National Assembly. After the submitting of the ECP report on April 17, 2023, the Supreme Court summoned officials of the SBP, Finance Division, and ECP on April 14, 2023, for a hearing. Following the hearing, the Supreme Court directed the State Bank of Pakistan to allocate and release Rs. 21 billion to the ECP from the Federal Consolidated Fund for the purpose of the Punjab and KP Assemblies’ general elections. The National Assembly Standing Committee resolved and instructed the Finance Division to comply with the orders of the Supreme Court by presenting the matter before the National Assembly in the form of a bill through the Federal Cabinet.

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By hassani

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