PESHAWAR - Advisor on Information and Public Rela­tions Ajmal Khan Wazir said yesterday that addressing grievances of the recently merged districts was responsibility of the entire country.

He said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto was doing politics on the merged districts but the Sindh government has not yet given 3 percent share to the merged districts as promised under the National Finance Com­mission (NFC) Award.

“The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has already given its share in the Nation­al Finance Commission Award for the de­velopment of tribal districts and will give in this budget as well,” he added

He expressed these views while briefing the media at the Information Cell Civil Sec­retariat Peshawar on Sunday.

He said that if other provinces also give their share to the merged districts as prom­ised, the 72-year deprivation of the tribal districts can be end by accelerating the pro­cess of development in these districts.

Talking about the federal budget for the year 2020-2021, Ajmal Wazir said that the federal government was in a very difficult situation but a people-friendly, poor-friend­ly and business-friendly budget has been presented.

He said that the corona epidemic has hit hard the global economy but despite this, the federal government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan presented a balanced and tax-free budget.

“The budget has provided massive re­lief to the poor and the business communi­ty and for the first time in the history the business community has appreciated the budget” he claimed.

The advisor informed that the amount for Ehsas program was increased from Rs187 billion to Rs208 billion to provide re­lief to the poor and Rs2 billion was allocat­ed to help the youth to stand on their own feet economically. Regarding the measures taken to control the locusts, he said that an operation was underway in the affected areas in which the Agriculture Department, Relief, Pakistan Army and the concerned district administrations were taking part, while 80 teams comprising 758 personnel were participating in the operation.

Ajmal Wazir said that the survey on more than 42.63 lakh acres of land is in progress while spraying on 52,700 acres of land was completed and that Rs10 billion were allo­cated in the federal budget for the anti-lo­cust and agricultural relief.

Regarding the government SOPs, Ajmal Wazir said that Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has given clear instructions to ensure implementation of SOPs and take a stern ac­tion in case of violation.

He said that 237,013 operations were carried out in the last nine days across the province and warnings have been issued to 59,822 units / businesses for violating SOPs. While 41,591 businessmen have been fined more than Rs. 12.4 million, similarly 4,531 units / businesses have been sealed for violating SOPs.