Balochistan presents Rs 152bn budget with Rs 7.1bn deficit
* Revenue estimated at Rs 115 billion
* PSDP allocation to be around Rs 22 billion
* Balochistan Investment Board created to attract foreign, local investors
By Mohammad Zafar
QUETTA: The Balochistan government has allocated Rs 2 billion for the rehabilitation of people affected by cyclone Phet in the province’s budget for 2010-11.
While delivering his budget speech in the Balochistan Assembly on Monday, Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd announced a deficit budget of Rs 7.1 billion with a total outlay exceeding Rs 152 billion.
He said the government had increased the development budget from Rs 18 billion to Rs 26 billion for the year 2010-11, with a foreign exchange component of Rs 3.9 billion.
The Japanese government has provided Rs 800 million for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Pasni Fish Harbour in the next fiscal year.
Revenue: The revenue is estimated at Rs 115 billion, including arrears from Gas Devlopment Surcharge (GDS) and gas wellhead prices, while capital receipts will be Rs 29.39 billion.
The size of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) will be around Rs 22 billion, while the foreign assistance programme will be Rs 3.9 billion, apart from the Pasni Fish Harbour rebuilding assistance.
The government is planning to retire a sizeable debt burden by paying back Cash Development Loan (CDL) worth Rs 1.7 billion and public debt of Rs 9 billion.
The most significant aspect of the Balochistan budget is that the government has created the Balochistan Investment Board to attract foreign and local investors in the resource rich province.
The new budget proposes spending the highest amount of money in the next fiscal year on general administration – Rs 18.5 billion – followed by education, Rs 17.3 billion and law and order, Rs 12.5 billion.
The increase in expenses on public order and safety comes due to the upsurge in violence.
Also, the provincial government has allocated Rs 10 billion to strengthen the law enforcement apparatus and decided to raise the basic pay of personnel of police, levies and Balochistan constabulary by 100 percent.
“Our government has regularised approximately 5,500 police personnel who were recruited through Conversion of B into A Area Project. Similarly approximately 6,000 personnel of the Balochistan Constabulary have also been regularised,” the Balochistan finance minister said.
“Our government has decided to provide Rs 1 billion to manage the education sector: Rs 200 million has been allocated for the purchase of furniture, Rs 400 million for repair and renovation of schools, particularly in the rural areas and Rs 200 million has been allocated for repair and renovation of colleges across the province,” Kurd added.