Provincial Chief Ministers act as ‘dictators’ due to 18th amendment, says PM Imran Khan

Prime Minister Imran Khan has criticized 18th amendment for giving overwhelming authority to provincial chief ministers with the likes of any dictator.

Highlighting the issue of administrative conflict between provincial and federal government, Prime Minister Imran Khan has stated that the federal government has no objection over 18th amendment and the powers it has given to provinces other than few specific variables that often result in administrative clash between the center and provinces.

Speaking to journalists in Governor House Sindh on Wednesday, PM Imran Khan, citing 18th amendment, highlighted the fact that various issues and domains that belong to the center have been handed over to the provinces after the 18th amendment and therefore it often result in administrative conflict between the federal and provincial government.

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Citing the overwhelming authority and power vested in the office of Chief Ministers, PM Imran Khan stated that provincial heads enjoy ‘dictatorial powers’ which they have failed to pass on to the local government bodies and officials.

Furthermore, the premier also raised his concerns on the current formula of national Finance Commission (NFC) award, citing Rs 700 billion deficit in federal budget as 65 per cent of the fiscal resources generated by the country are disbursed among the provinces.

Expressing his views on the ‘friction’ between federal and Sindh government, Imran Khan revealed that CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah agrees with his decisions and policies decided by National Coordination Committee (NCC), and it is only later that he publically disagrees with the policies and decisions of the center due to party pressure.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan also rebuked the criticism targeting federal government for its decision to lift the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The government had the responsibility of both taking steps to curb the virus and prevent the further economic deterioration of the poor, he noted.

Federal government has decided to ensure the strict implementation of SOPs and enforce smart lockdown in coronavirus hotspots to curb the spread of the disease, he added.