QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly on Friday evening passed a supplementary budget of Balochistan of Rs20.46 billion for the year 2019-20 presented by Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi.

The minister presented 32 drafts for demands, which included 28 of Rs16.72bn for non-development expenditure and four development expenses of Rs3.73bn.

Opposition members Akhtar Hussain Langove, Akbar Mengal of BNP-Mengal, Younis Aziz Zehri (JUI-F) and Nasarullah Zerey of PkMAP spoke at length on every draft for demands.

However, the house, which was presided over by Speaker Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo, rejected all cut motions with majority votes.

Mr Buledi while concluding the debate on Balochistan’s budget rejected allegations made by opposition members about interference in the constituencies of opposition parties and termed it a people-friendly budget and claimed it was prepared in the larger interest of the province.

According to him, it was Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani who protested over slashing Balochistan’s share in the federal resources and dropping development projects suggested by the province from the federal Public Sector Development Programme.

He said due to Covid-19 the country faced serious economic crises that reduced the share of the provinces in the federal resources and the National Finance Commission Award. Thus, Balochistan also faced a reduction in its share in the NFC Award, he said and projected a deduction of Rs30bn in Balochistan’s share.

However, he said that Balochistan share in the NFC Award had constitutional cover and nobody could deprive it of its 9.09 per cent share in the NFC.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2020