Pakistani Government Asks Rawalpindi to Return Misused Funds
17 May 2012 - 08:53 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
Pakistan, karachi — The Pakistani government this month asked the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board in Punjab province to return funds it spent almost a decade ago. Rawalindi took funds that were supposed to be used for a water supply project and used them to construct roads instead.
The government’s request comes after the Auditor General of Pakistan raised objections to Rawalpindi’s actions. But Cantonment Executive Officer Manzoor Ahmed Khan said the cash-strapped board will not be able to return the funds.
Khan laid the blame for the misuse of 20 million rupees ($220,000 USD) on the previous corps commander of Rawalpindi. The cantonment is the site of the Pakistani Army’s headquarters.
He said the board has been struggling to overcome a financial crisis. It is spending $1.3 million USD to keep its tubewells and water pumps operational, but it takes in only $768,000 USD in revenue.
Government funds can only be utilized for the project for which they were provided, unless the government consents to a change.
The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board has been trying to convince the federal government to review its decision, arguing that building roads was also in public interest. The task has been delegated to Station Commander Brigadier Zaman Nasarullah Khan, who is also the president of the Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonment boards.
The haggling between the Rawalpindi and national governments comes as the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said it will cut water shares of Sindh and Punjab provinces by 45 percent due to the drop in water flows in the region’s rivers.
The reduced river flows have led to water shortages.
However, IRSA decided against reducing the water shares of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because the two provinces are already getting 20 percent less than their normal water share.
IRSA has advised Punjab and Sindh to use water wisely to avoid crop losses.