GB lawmakers alleged misuse of funds for flood-hit people; demand inquiry

Lawmakers of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly asked for a probe into the issue of alleged corruption and misuse of funds meant for the rehabilitation of flood victims.

Speaker Nazir Ahmed constituted a five-member parliamentary committee, headed by Public Accounts Committee Chairman Ayub Waziri, to review rehabilitation work and submit a report by Friday.

The federal government and non-government organisations gave billions of rupees funds for the flood-affected areas, the lawmakers said, however, such funds had allegedly been embezzled.

Javed Ali Manwa, an opposition member, tabled a motion in GB assembly on Tuesday, to “draw attention towards the flood-hit people”.

He told the assembly that rains, flash floods and glacial lake outburst floods (Glof) had triggered disasters across GB and damaged roads, bridges, water and irrigation channels, cu­­­­ltivated lands and homes.

Manwa said the assembly needed to review the utilisation of funds for flood rehabilitation. He suggested a parliamentary committee to probe the imp­lementation of the foreign-funded project Glof-II at a cost of billions of rupees.

He said installing early warning systems, conducting seminars in five-star hotels and arranging exposure visits under the project cannot control disasters.
Another opposition member, Nawaz Khan Naji, also claimed that funds for last year’s flood victims have been misused and embezzled. “The victims have voluntarily restored water channels while funds in the name of disasters have been embezzled.”

The government provided a lot of funds to flood-affected people, but the money was “distributed among blue-eyed people”, he said.

Those who became homeless in the disaster didn’t get any compensation so far, Naji claimed. He also demanded a fair investigation into the matter.

Deputy Speaker Sadia Danish also claimed that billions of rupees marked for the Glof-II project have been misused in the name of seminars but no practical work can be witnessed.

She suggested the project’s representatives should appear before the house and brief about the implementation

Minister for Excise and Taxation Rehmat Khaliq also said people in flood-affected areas were suffering but rehabilitation work has not started yet.

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