ISLAMABAD: Due to acute financial constraint the federal and provincial governments are finding it increasingly difficult to release the second instalment of Watan Card for flood victims.
“The fate of the second instalment of Watan Cards hangs in balance,” the source said adding that “the governments will have to further delay the payment due to lack of finances.”
The federal government has the option to either abandon the whole scheme or to slash its size to meet its expenditure.
Another official source in the ministry of finance said that the government would provide the second and last instalment of Watan Cards to only 50 per cent of those who were given the first instalment.
The government is negotiating a loan from the World Bank to provide the promised financial assistance to the flood hit people in the four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, the source explained.
“At least Rs30 billion is required immediately for the second instalment to be released to all the 1.8 million flood victims,” the source said.
There are many families who have not received even the first instalment of Watan Cards due to the prolonged process of NADRA. The authority’s officials say that the delay was caused by the process used to ensure a transparent distribution of financial assistance to flood victims. The federal and provincial governments have paid about Rs29 billion to the victims of the flood through Watan Cards.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2011.
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