Islamabad - A writ petition challenging Prime Minister’s Rs 341 billion relief package for farmers was moved before the Islamabad High Court yesterday.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of the petition and directed the registrar office to fix it for regular hearing.

Earlier, the registrar office of IHC had raised objection over the petition saying that the petitioner has no locus standi in this matter.

However, the IHC bench removed this objection of registrar office and directed it to fix the petition for regular hearing.

The petitioner Shahid Orakzai filed this petition and cited federation through secretary law as respondents. In the petition, he adopted that the prime minister has announced a concessionary package for the farmers of all the four provinces with expenditures estimated around Rs 341 billion.

He contended that the act of the prime minister clearly violated the following provisions of the constitution in relation to Federal Expenditure.

“The expenditure is not shown on the ‘schedule of authorized expenditure’ authenticated by the Prime Minister and placed before the National Assembly under Article 83,” added the petitioner. Orakzai continued that the expenditure was not shown in the Federal Budget Statement under Clause (2) (b) of Article 80 and the National Assembly did not assent any grant for the said purpose under Article 82 while the expenditure comes within the first four months of the Financial Year 2015-2016 for which the National Assembly did not authorize any expenditure under Article 85. He said that the National Assembly has not approved any Supplementary Grant under Article 84 as yet.

“The Prime Minister announced that the four provinces would also share part of the expenditure but there was no meeting of the Council of Common Interests or even the Cabinet Committee for Provincial Coordination,” argued the petitioner. 

He contended that the Federal Government cannot bind any Provincial Government to participate in any Federal concessionary scheme and spend money from the Provincial Consolidated Fund for such purpose.

“By Clause (3) of Article 83, “no expenditure from the Federal Consolidated Fund shall be deemed to be duly authorized unless it is specified in the schedule” that is authenticated by the Prime Minister,” Orakzai stated.

Therefore, he prayed to the court that it may restrain the Federation from incurring any expenditure in relation to the concessionary package for the farmers until the compliance of the conditions in Article 83.

He also requested the court to instruct the Respondent Federation to lay a Supplementary Budget Statement in the National Assembly under Article 84.