BUDGET 2021-22: Punjab increases development spending to fuel growth

Published June 15, 2021
The higher development financing, budget document says, is aimed at achieving a 4.8pc growth rate in the next fiscal year. — Online/File
The higher development financing, budget document says, is aimed at achieving a 4.8pc growth rate in the next fiscal year. — Online/File

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in Punjab presented its fourth budget enhancing development allocations by 66 per cent to Rs560 billion from last year’s Rs337bn as social sector and infrastructure development claim 63pc of the Annual Development Plan 2021-22.

Unlike the then federal government of the PML-N, no provincial government had announced budget for the year 2018-19 and left the job for the governments to be formed after July 11, 2018 general elections.

The higher development financing, budget document says, is aimed at achieving a 4.8pc growth rate in the next fiscal year.

It enunciates economic growth-led investment, inclusive and balanced regional development, transformation of agriculture sector, human development through better skills, strengthening compliance with sustainable development goals (SDGs), support for public-private partnership (PPP), improving amenities through district development package as the guiding principles for the next year’s ADP.

Social sector has claimed the major chunk with 37pc allocation (Rs205bn). Of this over Rs98bn will go to health & family planning, Rs54.2bn to education, Rs26.6bn to local government, and Rs18.776bn to water supply and sanitation schemes.

The flagship projects to be completed next year include Nishtar-II hospital in Multan, Agriculture Food and Drug Authority, Mother & Child Hospital at Mianwali, cardiology institutes at Rawalpindi, Multan and DG Khan, and solarisation of drip and sprinkler irrigation systems.

A hefty amount of Rs91.4bn has been earmarked for special initiates, no details of which have been shared in the budget documents.

Infrastructure development is the second major claimant in the ADP with 26pc share or Rs145bn. This includes a sum of Rs58.3bn for construction and repairs of various roads, Rs30.78bn for irrigation projects, over Rs30bn for urban development and Rs19.27bn for energy projects.

Production sectors were overall given Rs57.9bn with agriculture as the major shareholder. Livestock & dairy development and forestry have been allocated Rs5.0bn and Rs4.0bn, respectively. Industries & skill development will get Rs12.2bn, whereas Rs1.25bn and Rs1.45bn have been apportioned for tourism and mines & minerals, respectively.

A sum of Rs23.375bn has been put aside for the services sector with main focus on transport (Rs16.8bn) and governance & IT (Rs5.0bn).

Under the head of departments, a fabulous amount of Rs27bn will go to planning & development, Rs5.0bn for climate change & environment, and Rs2.5bn for human rights & minority affairs.

Foreign-funded projects

The province will also undertake projects worth over Rs65.2bn in health, education, skill development, water & sanitation, agriculture, livestock, irrigation, energy, physical infrastructure, urban development and government sectors with the help of international development partners.

The World Bank-funded schemes are Punjab Urban Land System Enhancement (PULSE), Rural Sustainable Water & Sanitation, and Support to Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. The Asian Development Bank will sponsor Agriculture Markets Development, Greater Thal Canal, Improving Workforce Readiness and Sustainable Highway Development.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will fund a sewerage scheme and one surface water and waste water treatment plant each in Lahore. The IFAD will assist in rural employment and agriculture promotion, AFD will finance heritage regeneration and tourism, Danish agency will help in treatment of waste water in Faisalabad, while JICA will rehabilitate old Jhal Khanuana.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2021

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