Balochistan announces Rs328.5bn outlay budget with record deficit

Published June 15, 2017
Adviser to the Chief Minister Balochistan on Finance Sardar Aslam Bizenjo presenting the budget for financial year 2017-18 in Balochistan Assembly.─ Photo by Asmatullah Kakar
Adviser to the Chief Minister Balochistan on Finance Sardar Aslam Bizenjo presenting the budget for financial year 2017-18 in Balochistan Assembly.─ Photo by Asmatullah Kakar

Balochistan's record high deficit budget with a total outlay of Rs328.502 billion was presented by Chief Minister's Adviser on Financial Affairs Sardar Muhammad Aslam Bizenjo on Thursday in the Balochistan Assembly.

The budget deficit has jumped from Rs36bn during the current year to Rs52bn for the financial year 2017-18 according to the details made public.

Bizenjo informed the house that Rs86.01bn had been allocated for the public sector development program, whereas an allocation of Rs242.49bn had been made for non-developmental expenditures for fiscal 2017-18.

In an unusual instance, the adviser's address continued uninterrupted as the opposition chose to listen to him without any agitation.

Education and health

The government has allocated Rs45.79bn for the education sector, within which the non-development budget has received Rs35bn, an 18 per cent increase as compared to the current fiscal year.

The Balochistan Education Endowment Fund has been increased to Rs8bn from this year's Rs6bn. "14,000 students will be given scholarships from middle to university level to get quality education," Bizenjo announced.

Rs18.31bn have been allocated for the health sector in the province.

Security allocations

Rs34.83bn have been allocated for law and order and safety affairs. A further Rs1bn have been allocated for the victims of terrorism in the budget.

"We have defeated terrorists and terrorism by 95 per cent", Bizenjo told the house in his budget speech.

The adviser said 326.5 million rupees would be spent on the purchase of modern and new weapons to defeat terrorists.

He also informed the house that Rs250m were allocated for members of the legal fraternity to help them attain bar-at-law degrees from abroad in the aftermath of the August 8, 2016 Quetta Civil Hospital bombing.

"Young lawyers will be sent to London through official support to bridge the gulf created after the August 8 tragedy," Bizenjo said.

See: ‘Quetta blast has created massive vacuum’

The government hiked the salaries and pensions of government employees by 10pc. Minimum wage for labourers is slated to be increased from Rs14,000 to Rs15,000 in the province, Bizenjo claimed.

Furthermore, 7,971 vacancies were also announced during the budget speech by the finance adviser.

The province would get Rs202.69bn from the federal government under the divisible pool and the province would generate Rs12bn through its own revenue.

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