Government Allocates Over Rs17bn to ECP for Election Preparations
The Finance Division has responded to concerns raised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) regarding the lack of funds by releasing Rs17.4 billion for poll arrangements. This allocation comes in addition to the Rs10 billion already released in July 2023. The Finance Division, in a statement, emphasized its commitment to providing funds as needed, bringing the total released amount to Rs27.4 billion for the upcoming general elections. Finance Secretary Imdad Ullah Bosal, summoned by the ECP after the Finance Ministry’s initial lack of responsiveness, assured that funds for the elections would be released in a timely manner.
Addressing the ECP’s concerns, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi reassured that there is no crisis in meeting the financial needs of the election commission. He mentioned that the cabinet has approved Rs42 billion for the ECP’s budget, with Rs10 billion already disbursed. Solangi pledged that the government would release the required budgeted amount for the ECP according to its needs, emphasizing the government’s firm support for free and fair elections.
As Pakistan approaches the 2024 general elections scheduled for February 8, all political parties are gearing up for a face-off. The ECP has notified the final list of delimitation of constituencies for national and provincial assemblies. The election schedule is expected to be announced later this month, with the ECP previously indicating that the final list of delimitations would be published on November 30, revised from the initially stated date of December 15. According to the ECP’s notification, the National Assembly consists of 266 general seats, with 60 reserved for women and an additional 10 for non-Muslims, as per Article 51(3) of the Constitution.