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MPAs have no say over Rs73.6bn expenditure

June 18, 2013

KARACHI, June 17: Provincial legislators cannot scrutinise or even ask questions about over Rs73 billion, or 12 per cent of the total proposed Sindh budget for the financial year 2013–14, the government will be spending under different heads marked as ‘charged expenditure’, showed documents of the proposed budget on Monday.

The Rs73.634bn is roughly Rs10bn more than the Rs63bn that was actually allocated as ‘charged expenditure’ in the budget estimates for the year 2012–13. But the actual amount spent during the year, which was presented as the revised estimates for 2012–13, had risen to over Rs72.851bn, showing that over Rs9bn had been spent more than the originally prescribed amount.

During the financial year 2011–12 the allocated amount kept as ‘charged expenditure’ was Rs52bn.

Expenditures charged on the provincial consolidated fund, or simply charged expenditures, are not put to vote under Article 121 of the Constitution.

The charged expenditure on food would remain the same as was spent last year, though the allocation in this year’s budget is 10 per cent more than what was originally allocated in the last year’s budget.

The charged expenditure includes the provincial governor’s remuneration and expenditure relating to his office; remuneration paid to judges of the high court, the speaker and the deputy speaker of the assembly; administrative expenses, including remuneration paid to officers and servants of the court and secretariat of the provincial assembly.

The charged expenditure includes all debt charges for which the provincial government is liable to pay, including interests, sinking fund, the repayment of amortisations of capital and other security of provincial consolidated fund and any sums required to satisfy any judgement, decree or award against the province by a court and any other sum declared by the relevant authorities to be so charged.

The details of the charged expenditure this year, last year’s allocations and what the government actually spent under that head are as follows:

The total charged expenditure on the executive and legislative organs, financial and fiscal affairs and external affairs allocated for 2012–13 was Rs10.348bn, but the government spent Rs12.153bn. This year (2013–14) Rs12.449bn has been allocated under these heads.

Some details of this expenditure are that over Rs417 million was allocated for the provincial assembly in 2012-13 but it spent Rs491.273m and Rs459.34m was allocated for 2013–14. Similarly, Rs254m was kept for the provincial executive last year and it spent Rs350m, but in 2013–14 over Rs345.9m was allocated.

Last year the government had allocated Rs1.055bn as interest on foreign debt payable to the federal government, but it paid over Rs1.356bn. So this year (2013-14) over Rs1.273bn, which is slightly less than the previous year’s actual spending, has been allocated. Last year the government had allocated Rs8.62bn to be paid as interest on domestic debt, whereas it paid over Rs9.955bn. This year (2013–14), however, Rs10.371bn was allocated under that head.

Last year the government had allocated over Rs1.837bn for public order and safety, which included courts and provincial ombudsman, but it spent over Rs1.950bn. So this year (2013–14) the allocation has been hiked to over Rs2.09bn.

Under the head of construction/ administration/ building/ structures, the government had last year allocated Rs69.810m but eventually spent over Rs72.164m. This year (2013 -14), however, over Rs74.405m has been allocated.

The government had allocated Rs12.255bn for social protection, but it spent Rs14.176bn. So this year (2103-14) the government has allocated Rs14.614bn for the purpose. Last year Rs5bn was allocated for food (wheat), but eventually Rs5.5bn was spent on the commodity. So this year also the government has allocated Rs5.5bn for wheat.

Last year the government had allocated Rs34.125bn for repayment of principal domestic debt, but it spent over Rs39bn. This time also Rs39bn has been allocated under the head.