QUETTA: Balochistan is facing a financial crisis for the last three months as it has not received its share of Rs11 billion under the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the province’s spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo and Finance Minister Zamrak Khan Piralizai have repeatedly drawn the attention of the federal government to the province’s predicament, but the centre has made no response so far.
The province has not received any money from Islamabad even for flood relief. Last year’s floods rendered hundreds of thousands homeless in 28 out of 35 districts of the province.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced a grant of Rs10 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure in flood-ravaged regions, but Balochistan’s finance department laments it hasn’t received anything under the head so far.
The provincial government had to spend “huge amounts” on relief and rehabilitation from its own resources, an official told Dawn.
Farah Azeem Shah, a spokesperson for the provincial government, said at a press conference the province was woefully short of funds and unless the federal government released its dues worth Rs75 billion, it won’t be able to pay salaries to its employees.
She accused Islamabad of holding back the money on purpose, calling for the release of funds “as soon as possible”. “Otherwise, the province will meet with disaster.”
The spokesperson said a major chunk of the provincial government’s funds were spent on law and order. The second major head is the payment of salaries and pension to government employees.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2023
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