QUETTA: The Balochistan government on Monday unveiled the Rs88.3 billion Annual Development Programme (ADP) for 2018-19, with top priority being given to education, public health engineering development (PHED) and communication sectors.

Presenting the budget for 2018-19, Adviser to the Chief Minister on Finance Dr Ruquyia Saeed Hashmi said the government wanted to allocate maximum funds for the development sector to provide more facilities to the people.

She said the ADP also includes Rs9.2bn foreign aid. However, the resources from the federal government are not up to the needs of Balochistan, she added.

A total 4,728 schemes have been included in the ADP 2018-19. Out of which 3,213 schemes are new while 1,515 schemes ongoing ones as the government wants to complete ongoing schemes as soon as possible to allocate maximum amount for the new schemes, Dr Hashmi explained.

With the measures taken by the government, the provincial resources were estimated Rs9.6bn during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18,” she added.

The Balochistan Revenue Authority collected Rs5.5bn on account of GST on services.

According to the budget documents, the Balochistan government has allocated highest amount of Rs20.19bn for 925 schemes in the communication sector (567 news schemes and 358 ongoing schemes).

The second highest amount of Rs12.45bn has been allocated in ADP for the education sector that would be spent on total 654 schemes (449 new and 205 ongoing development projects). The budget documents indicate that Rs8.65bn for PHED which will be spent on total 1,009 development schemes (921 new and 88 ongoing schemes).

The provincial government decided to give more attention to the health sector. It has allocated Rs7.24bn to initiate 172 news development schemes and completing 100 ongoing schemes in the next financial year.

A sum of Rs5.87bn was set aside for PPEH sector, which would be spent on 304 total schemes (134 new and 170 ongoing schemes).

In the agriculture sector, the government would spend Rs3.85bn. This amount would be spent on178 development schemes which include116 new and 62 ongoing ones.

For the Urban Planning and Development sector, Rs1.15bn was indicated that would be spent on 48 development schemes (24 new and another 24 ongoing schemes).

The government would spend an amount of Rs2.27bn on Local Bodies projects. For the power sector, Rs2.71bn was allocated for 269 schemes.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2018