Balochistan announces Rs328.5bn outlay budget with record deficit

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Balochistan’s record high deficit budget with a total outlay of Rs328.502 billion was presented by the Adviser to the Chief Minister Balochistan on Finance Sardar 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 the financial year 2017-18.

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

The Balochistan Education Endowment Fund has been increased to Rs8bn from current 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.

Seurity 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.

“Rs326.5 million are allocated for the purchase of modern and new weapons to defeat terrorists,” the adviser added.

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

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

On August 8, a suicide bomber targeted the emergency services ward at Quetta’s Civil Hospital, killing at least 74 people and leaving scores injured.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), had claimed responsibility for the bombing which occurred at the gates of the building housing the emergency ward.

In an unusual instance, the adviser’s address continued uninterrupted as the opposition chose to silently listen to him.

The salaries and pensions of government employees are hiked by 10pc. Furthermore, 7971 vacancies were also announced during the budget speech by the finance adviser.

Minimum wage for labourers is slated to be increased from Rs14,000 to Rs15,000 in the province, Bizenjo claimed.

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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