Breaking the bowl’, so goes the slogan of the Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. In public he sermonizes about “ridding the province of foreign aid and loans”. He harangues the federal government for sloshing too much through borrowing too much. But under him the province is said to have acquired loans to the tune of Rs 80 billion
– and this is not overdraft from the federal government, it is just the foreign borrowings.
And it too squanders them on populist measures. A case in point: The World Bank’s fund meant to support the poor get primary education was diverted to distribute laptops to college and university students – most of these to the relatively well-heeled.
There is another anomaly. The province has been unable to fully utilize development funds owing to gross inefficiency. Since the incumbent dispensation took the reins, every year, year after year, tens of billions of rupees have lapsed owing to remaining unutilized. This borrowing binge while the available funds remain unused is indeed is a contradiction that both the finance managers and their political masters would find hard to explain. Sources privy to the goings-on divulged to Pakistan Today that politicians have scant understanding of complicated financial matters, leaving the finance managers to rule the roost. But even this sorry excuse cannot absolve the politicians for not being on top of complex financial matters for which eventually the people suffer.
LIAR LIAR YOUR PANTS ON FIRE !!