Reaction: Despite uplift projects, G-B locals perturbed over budget

Say basic food items still out of reach of the poor.

Shabbir Mir June 03, 2012


Despite many uplift projects earmarked for Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) in the new budget, senior officials of the G-B government, as well as politicians, traders and even students, have expressed displeasure of what it entails, and what it does not.

“We were expecting drastic cuts in prices of gas, petrol, diesel and basic food commodities but what turned up is disappointing,” said G-B Chamber of Commerce President Javed Hussain. “The government had promised a people-friendly budget, but it is anything but,” said Hussain, adding that the prices of basic food items and fuel continue to be out of reach of the poor.

Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz G-B President Hafizur Rehman termed the budget “a mere jugglery of words and figures”. He said that the prime minister had twice announced to increase the annual budget for G-B from 6 billion to 17 billion, but has kept on delaying it on one pretext or the other.

On the increase in salaries of government employees, Rehman said that an increase of 20 per cent in salaries cannot offset the over 200 per cent increase in prices.

Waqas Khawar, a student of engineering, said there has been no allocation in the budget for improvements in the education sector or for relief of students of professional colleges.

In the budget, more than Rs16 billion have been earmarked for different projects in G-B as Block Development Allocation. This includes Rs3 billion for expansion and repair of the Karakoram Highway, Rs100 million for extension of a fibre optic cable to remote areas of G-B and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Around Rs7 billion have separately been allocated for different projects, including four hydro-power projects.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2012.



Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read