War on terror bills: Pakistan forgoes $1.3b claim under CSF

Published: July 10, 2012
SHARES
Email
Finance ministry official says amount was ‘overstated’.

Finance ministry official says amount was ‘overstated’.

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan seems to be in a giving mood, not only has it decided to relinquish transit fees for Nato supplies, it has also given up on a huge chunk of another payment from the US.

Contrary to an official statement issued earlier, Pakistan has decided to forgo $1.3 billion of the total $2.5 ‘reconciled’ outstanding amount the US was to pay under war on terror reimbursement claims of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

The $1.3 billion has been excluded from the “reconciled claims of $2.5 billion” for the period from July 2010 to April 2011, said a senior official from the finance ministry. The amount is even more than the $900 million the US had refused to pay.

This means the earlier total bill of $3.4 billion was overstated by a whopping $2.22 billion or 65%, and raises serious questions over the credibility of the country’s financial managers.

The official was not willing to say anything more except that the bills were inflated. This is contrary to what senior functionaries had said earlier.

Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had told the media at a news conference the reconciled CSF claims amounted to $2.5 billion. The ministry’s spokesman Rana Assad Amin was not available for comments despite repeated attempts to contact him for three consecutive days.

Recent reports following the reopening of Nato routes suggest the US will now pay only $1.18 billion under the CSF, which Washington disburses after a rigorous 11-stage scrutiny process against expenditures Pakistan has already incurred in its fight against terrorism. The finance ministry official said the money will be released in the next 15 days.

At the same news conference which Dr Hafeez Shaikh had addressed earlier regarding the disbursement of the reconciled amount, he said that prior to the May 2 raid on a compound in Abbottabad the US had started rejecting 35-40% of the amount Pakistan claimed.

Finance ministry officials agreed that while the US would disburse the entire proposed amount in the initial years of the war, it started rejecting 5-10% of the bill soon after.

The US had however stopped disbursing the fund since December 2010 in an attempt to coerce Islamabad into accepting its demands. Up till then the US had disbursed a total amount of $8.6 billion against total claims of $12 billion, said a government functionary requesting anonymity.

Pakistan has also taken back its demand of $5,500 transit fee for each Nato container crossing through its territory. Some reports suggest the move is to dispel the impression that the route was blocked for financial gains and not over the US apology for the Salala air raid.

The $5,500 included $1,000 for repairing roads damaged due to heavy traffic movement, said communication secretary Anwar Ahmad Khan in a testimony to the Public Accounts Committee. The government has not yet divulged how it intends to repair the damaged roads. It is said the national exchequer has already sustained a loss of Rs124 billion on account of Nato containers passing through its territory.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Rs124 billion as $124 billion. The error is regretted.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (18)

  • bangash
    Jul 10, 2012 - 9:43AM

    Our beloved Pakistan is a country run by fools and thieves.

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 10, 2012 - 9:45AM

    This means the earlier total bill of
    $3.4 billion was overstated by a
    whopping $2.22 billion or 65%, and
    raises serious questions over the
    credibility of the country’s financial
    managers.

    Many believed that Musharraf was charging America for bogus military expenditures to shore up/fuel the Pakistan economy — he apparently was more successful that Zardari/Kayani.

    Recommend

  • Tariq
    Jul 10, 2012 - 9:46AM

    “This means the earlier total bill of $3.4 billion was overstated by a whopping $2.22 billion or 65%, and raises serious questions over the credibility of the country’s financial managers.”
    Incompetence or cheating. Seems to be the consistent question when dealing with the Government of Pakistan. From Bin Laden to this.

    Recommend

  • derpton
    Jul 10, 2012 - 10:08AM

    ” a loss of $124 billion ” — are you sure its not PKR and dollar amount ?

    Recommend

  • syed Imran
    Jul 10, 2012 - 10:12AM

    $ 1.3 Billion overstated,are we such big cheaters or else we can selloff any thing for a false embrace of the United States

    Recommend

  • Jul 10, 2012 - 10:20AM

    This just what the doctor prescribed. Shameful.
    From USD. 3.4 billion a sum of USD. 1.1 billion will be received on CSF account. The rest has been rejected by the USA. The reason given is inflated amounts of the bills.
    Who will believe our finance managers? These are the same persons who have worked in the USA and acquired fancy degrees. They are mostly dual nationalities and imposed on us by the IMF, WB, and the ADB.
    Pakistan is caught in a ‘rat trap’ and is unable to go up, down, right, left, forward or backward. It is
    squarely ‘epoxied’ to its position. The blame is on the GOP, army and its finance ministry that handle the war and finances while the civilians look on aghast.
    The solution is the sooner we handle our senses properly with educated Islamists who do not sport bushy beards, the sooner we will get out of this quagmire. A quagmire it certainly is.
    Salams to dear Pakistan

    Recommend

  • Jul 10, 2012 - 10:22AM

    1 Sorry = $1.3 Billion + Transit fee. Beautifully give and take.

    Recommend

  • SouthEastAsian
    Jul 10, 2012 - 10:50AM

    “forgoes” ??
    Why don’t you just say that the double-billing and triple-billing has been caught out. Pakistan wouldn’t forego a paisa if it can.

    Recommend

  • M. Adil
    Jul 10, 2012 - 11:00AM

    “It is said the national exchequer has already sustained a loss of $124 billion on account of Nato containers passing through its territory.” $124 billion? That’s probably more than the rest of the world spends on its entire network of roads. Do these containers dig up the roads as they go over them? Stop them at once. Put everything on the trains. The railway only manages to lose Rs 82 billion every year. That’s much more sustainable. In fact, at this rate of loss, we should even think of flying the supplies in. PIA only loses Rs 100 a year, less than 1% of that lost on the roads! Plus we could put some fresh mangoes onto the planes for the brave ISAF troops, along with a few generals. Keeps Pak Army and NATO happy. And if they spot any militants down below, hit them with a case of exploding mangoes. No need for drone attacks any more. Even keeps DPC, JI and PTI happy too. At least let the Parliament consider it. The MNAs can get additional bonuses from the billions saved. Everyones a winner. “It’s my way, or the highway.” There’s no choice really.

    Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Jul 10, 2012 - 11:58AM

    Dont worry…more to come….yet our dear PPP jiyalas will claim that this is also propaganda to defame the govt?Recommend

  • vasan
    Jul 10, 2012 - 12:01PM

    No wonder nobody trusts Pakistan for anything at all. Never take a word from Pak govt/establishment as granted

    Recommend

  • Jul 10, 2012 - 12:02PM

    Vienna,July 10,2012
    The land route stoppage demanding an apology of any sort
    at “political level” did indeed cost Pakistan a high price,as
    high as K2.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

    Recommend

  • Dr Meekal Ahmed
    Jul 10, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Everyone it seems has a new number to bandy about.

    The accuracy of the bills that are submitted is well known.

    Recommend

  • Naresh
    Jul 10, 2012 - 5:00PM

    @Dr Meekal Ahmed Ji:
    .
    *The $5,500 included $1,000 for repairing roads damaged due to heavy traffic movement, said communication secretary Anwar Ahmad Khan in a testimony to the Public Accounts Committee. The government has not yet divulged how it intends to repair the damaged roads. It is said the national exchequer has already sustained a loss of Rs124 billion on account of Nato containers passing through its territory.
    .
    Sir Ji, every Vehicle pays a Road Tax the quantum of which depends on the Size/Type of Vehicle.
    .
    i.e. The Tax paid by a “Tractor Truck” employed in Hauling heavy loads upto Forty Tonnes is many times Higher than the “Road Tax” paid by a “Three Wheeler” Goods Carrier.
    .
    The Truckers carry the TEUs or FEUs from say Karachi to Aghanistan are already paying the Road Tax to the Pakistani Vehicle Licencing Authority.
    .
    As such the “Additional” Charge that the Pakistani Government expects the US Government to pay is “invalid” as I am sure Pakistani Truckers do not have to pay this additional One Thousand US Dollars per container hauled for the Two to Three Million TEUs and FEUs handled by the Port of Karachi.
    .
    Cheers

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Jul 10, 2012 - 5:27PM

    I think there is a spelling mistake in the heading. It probably should be read as “forged” instead of “forgoes”

    Recommend

  • Khalq e Khuda
    Jul 11, 2012 - 4:58AM

    You cannot forgive which was never yours to begin with. It is a simple deal, the US will pay the amount it wants: you can either tender your resignation or get fired: your call.

    Recommend

  • Jim
    Jul 11, 2012 - 8:27AM

    So what’s new? Lying, cheating, denial, misrepresentation, distortion…Pakistan lives in an alternate universe. nothing is what seems. Its rulers live in a make-believe world full of delusion and self-deception. Pity the poor, honest, hardworking people…they were not only handed a moth-eaten state, but now have to contend with a ruling class with moth-eaten brains and no morals…

    Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jul 11, 2012 - 12:56PM

    This is why the Americans and others love doing business with Pakistani leaders because everything is negotiable. Its only the Pakistani people who get a raw deal from their leaders.

    Recommend

More in Business