The Government of Balochistan in Exile

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bureaucrat blames Pakistani government for financial mismanagement in occupied Balochistan


KALAT, Balochistan – The provincial finance minister of Pakistani-occupied Balochistan, Syed Ehsan Shah stated that the province has borrowed (over draft) Rupees 15 billion, and has paid over Rupees 262.7 million in interest on loans alone to the State Bank of Pakistan.

The finance minister told members of the Balochistan Assembly that he had floated a proposal during the meeting of the National Finance Commission that Balochistan was being charged exorbitant interest rates by the State Bank; and therefore, he should be allowed to shop in the open market for lower interest rates. But, the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani federal government adamantly refused the minister's request.

According to the Shah, during the 1990s, the provincial government obtained Rupees 19 billion in loans on high interest rates. To date, the province has paid Rupees 39 billion in interest and there is a remaining balance of Rupees 14 billion to be paid in the future. He expressed his disappointment at the incompetence of the members of the Balochistan Assembly for the following reasons:

  1. Agreeing to pay high interest rates on loans to the federal government
  2. Unable to collect Rupees 9 billion in dues from Sindh government for water from Hub
  3. Unable to collect hundreds of billions of Rupees in natural gas arrears that are outstanding against the federal government

The frustrated finance minister warned the provincial government that Balochistan was facing a major financial crisis. To control the spiraling fall of the provincial economy, he is forced to obtain funds from the Asian Development Bank just to repay the loan to the federal government.

Shah also stated that due to the ongoing financial crisis in Balochistan, it is not possible to increase the salaries of government employees by 15 percent, and the pension of the retired employees and other allowances by 20 percent as announced by the federal government. Additional funds of Rupees 3 billion are required to fulfill the federal government’s request. He also confessed that government employees (who are predominantly from Punjab) in Balochistan are already getting higher salaries than those in other provinces.

To add fuel to the existing crisis, the federal government deducted Rupees 1.5 billion from the province’s share of gas income claiming that it was necessary to cover the cost of damage done to gas installations by Baloch freedom fighters. The provincial government is also paying billions of Rupees to the federal government to cover the expenses of the current military operations against the Baloch national forces.

Government of Balochistan (GOB) in Exile is concerned about the financial crisis in occupied Balochistan due to the mismanagement and incompetence of the Pakistani colonizers. It clearly shows the pathetic state of affairs in Balochistan despite the region being rich in natural resources. This actually speaks volume of the inefficiencies and plundering of Baloch national wealth by the Punjabi-dominated occupation troops and the Pakistani government.

The so-called mega projects claimed by Pakistani military dictator General Pervez Musharraf to be so necessary for the development of Balochistan is in essence a fraudulent scheme of mega plundering and international debt accumulation, which will eventually have to be paid by the GOB (Exile) and the Baloch people after the liberation of Balochistan.

GOB (Exile) strongly criticizes the Pakistani government of usurping Baloch national wealth, and demands immediate withdrawal of all Pakistani mega projects and government officials from occupied Balochistan.

Mir Azaad Khan Baloch
General Secretary
The Government of Balochistan in Exile


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