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MPAs have no say over Rs63bn expenditure

June 11, 2012

KARACHI, June 11: Provincial lawmakers cannot scrutinise a huge spending of Rs63 billion in the head of charged expenditure during the coming financial year and will have to accept it without even asking a question, it emerged on Monday.

The amount of Rs63 billion is over Rs11 billion higher than the last year’s allocation of Rs52 billion, which had been designated as charged expenditure.

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

Budget documents show that while allocations for almost all the heads designated under the charged expenditure has increased, only a single amount — allocation for judges of the high court — has come down by around Rs70 million. They did not even utilise last year’s full allocation.

The charged expenditure allocation for food has been increased by over 150 per cent in a year, although the actual spending last year was triple than the original allocation.

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

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

The break-up of the charged expenditure (CE) as mentioned in the budget documents for the year 2012-13 is: estimated charged expenditure by executive and legislative organs (which include provincial assembly, provincial executive, governor, his military secretary and other staff, ombudsman, etc,) is Rs904 million as against last year’s Rs758 million (an increase of Rs146 million), though it ended up spending over Rs997 million.

A total estimated allocation for the CE of financial and fiscal affairs is Rs9.67 billion as against the last year’s Rs9.27 billion, though it ended up spending over Rs9.8 billion.

The total estimated CE allocation on courts/justice is over Rs1.6 billion as against the last year’s Rs1.67 billion, though only Rs1.57 billion was spent.

The total CE current revenue expenditure has been estimated to be Rs12.2 billion as against the last year’s Rs11.77 billion, though over Rs12.4 billion was spent in the outgoing fiscal year.

A total CE allocation on food is expected to be Rs5 billion as against the last year’s Rs2 billion, though the government ended up spending over Rs6.1 billion.

The total CE estimated repayment of principal-domestic debt is to be over Rs34 billion as against the last year’s Rs31 billion.