QUETTA: The government is making an all-out effort to explore new oil and gas reserves sites in different parts of Balochistan.
This was stated by Balochistan Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd at a post-budget press conference here on Tuesday. He was accompanied by provincial minister for information Younis Mullahzai and finance secretary Mir Dostain Khan Jamaldani.
“The provincial government is well aware of the depleting gas reserves and realises that the situation would also affect Balochistan’s share in the federal resources. At present, different companies are working in Zain Koh area of Dera Bugti district, Jhal Magsi and some others area. Huge gas reserves have been found in Zain Koh area. This reserve is much bigger than the Sui reserves in Sui,” Kurd informed.
Replying to a question, he said that the provincial government has allocated around Rs5 billion for the energy sector. He said that 77 schemes of energy sector have been included in the next year’s Public Sector Development Programme, along with 52 new schemes.
“We are working on different projects to resolve the energy crisis in the province, including installing wind miles in Nokondi area of the Chagai district. Also, a survey report reveals that 10,000 MW electricity could be generated using underground warm water in Koh-e-Sultan area of Balochistan,” he said.
He further informed that Iran was supplying around 130 MW of electricity in coastal areas of Balochistan. “Iran would further provide 1000MW and a memorandum of understanding has been signed in this regard,” he said.
“Rs13.53 billon has been earmarked for law and order in the Balochistan Budget for Fiscal Year 2012-13. Police budget has been increased by 19.6 per cent, Balochistan Constabulary by 13 per cent and Levies Force Budget by 16 per cent,” he said.
The budget for procurement of equipments, vehicles and weapons for law enforcement agencies has also been increased by 50 per cent in comparison with previous year.
Referring to the education sector, he informed that 85 per cent of the Education Budget is allocated for release of salaries to teachers and other staff.
Kurd said that the Balochistan government has purchased a new airplane, adding, “This would benefit the future government which would come in power after next general elections.”
On health, he said that the provincial government has provided Rs700 million to major public hospitals in the country so that patients from Balochistan could get medical treatment there.
He said that Rs179.93 billion Balochistan Budget for fiscal year 2012-13 includes Rs107.28 billion for ongoing expenditures, Rs36.83 billion for investment expenditures and Rs35.81 billion of development expenditures.