We are in the year 2015 and what happened way back in 1950-51 doesn’t matter!
Well, trust us when we say that it is an important part of our history as a country and makes a big impact on our economy as a nation.
That was the year when independent India’s first Budget was released and one of the liabilities mentioned in Balance Sheet of India there was a huge amount of Rs. 300 crore due from Pakistan on account of share of pre-partition debt!
Now you get the idea what we are talking about?
Just imagine, from that year onwards, this entry is regularly made in the books and Pakistan has never paid it off despite India paying off its share of Rs. 50 crore soon after independence!
May be Rs. 300 crore is not a huge amount in today’s scenario where in other debts goes in lakhs of crores but in 1950-51, this amount was more than 10% of our total liabilities. In fact, it was almost 10 times of the country’s total external debt! How big is that?
Shall we give you an even bigger shock?
The government of India has kept the figure of Rs. 300 crore just like that even today, and has added no interest to it! Which means as average citizens, if we don’t pay on time, whether it is our taxes or loans or anything, we have to pay penalties and interest and what not. But for Pakistan, if they ever decide to pay, they are not required to pay any penalty or interest on this outstanding.
The amount was humungous in those days and even today it can come handy in financing various social initiatives to help make life of our citizens better in some manner at least.
So what are the government’s compulsions of not asking Pakistan to pay back what is rightfully ours? As far as other contentious issues are concerned regarding border, terrorism, Kashmir etc., they will obviously take time to be solved, but financial claims must be cleared. After all, Pakistan is getting billions of dollars from America and various other countries. It shouldn’t be a problem for them to pay off the basic principal if not with interest!
As a nation, we are trying to make relations smooth with our neighbour, taking steps to enhance the business relations, but then it doesn’t mean that we should not get back what are our legitimate dues!
The other option is for the government of India to show magnanimity, and write off the entire liability as charity to that country! That way we can really show that we are the big brother and we can afford to help out the ordinary citizens in that country even if they are routinely back-stabbing us!
But in that situation, will Pakistan ever accept India as Big Brother?
The answer is more towards the negative.
Well, let’s see when does the government act to make its books leaner and cleaner!