Skip to main content

Balochistan Budget: Juggling expenses


PUBLIC investment in social and economic infrastructure development is the most important tool a provincial government can wield to boost economic growth for alleviating poverty and creating jobs. But it is observed that Balochistan has not been able to make any noticeable progress in mitigating widespread poverty despite a substantial rise in its budget allocations for development post 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) award.

Balochistan, for example, has almost doubled its budget allocations for the annual public sector development programme (PSDP) from Rs54.5 billion in 2015-16 to Rs108.1bn for the present financial year. Even the revised estimates for the provincial development programme show a spike of more than 62 per cent to Rs81.9bn, yet this growth in funds is not complemented with improvement in the social and economic outcomes in the province. Instead, we have seen the province’s development throw-forward spike to Rs288.9bn at the close of the previous fiscal year in June 2019.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the increased inefficiencies in public development investments: lack of institutional or departmental capacity to implement schemes, different political lobbies exerting pressure on the government to fund schemes with little or no economic benefit, an underdeveloped private sector, rampant corruption and wastage of funds, and so on.

To improve the efficiency of its development expenditure and increase its impact on provincial, social and economic infrastructure, the Jam Mir Jamal Kamal Khan Alyani government has now finalised a draft Balochistan Comprehensive Development Strategy, which will provide the legal and regulatory framework for the development of the province and help the government gradually move towards medium- and long-term planning. “The strategy will help the government in allocating resources according to the targets set during provincial development planning,” provincial finance secretary Noorul Haq Baloch told this correspondent last week.

Additionally, the government is also working on finalising sector plans for education, industries, mines, agriculture, livestock, local government, women development and energy. These sector plans comprising provincial policies and strategies will be used in the preparation of the annual development plan. The provincial planning and development department has developed the Balochistan Planning and Development Manual in order to have a proper policy guideline for implementation of the provincial PSDP in addition to drafting a monitoring and evaluation framework.

The budget documents for the next financial year show that the development sector reforms initiated by the present provincial administration in the last two years have helped it bring down the province’s development throw-forward by a fifth to Rs230.4bn by emphasising the completion of incomplete, ongoing schemes whose number has been brought down from 1,515 to 665. This will provide the government more space to start work on new projects and enable it to allocate more funds for ongoing schemes for their early completion.

Besides improving the efficiency of its development spending, Mr Baloch said the government is implementing financial reforms. It has also tabled the Public Finance Management Bill 2020 to improve financial discipline. With the passage of the bill, Balochistan will become the first province to meet this constitutional obligation. Additionally, the government has already set up an internal audit unit, a revenue management unit and a debit and investment unit to strengthen public finance management.

He said the major policy objective of budget and financial reforms is to protect the province’s annual allocations for development. For instance, he argued, the reforms have helped the government keep its revised development expenditure for the current financial year at a significantly high level of 76pc of its original budget estimates despite the severe economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The operational shortfall of Rs87.6bn in its next year’s budget with a total consolidated outlay of Rs465.5bn is apparently also meant to protect the provincial development allocations of Rs106.1 billion, according to the provincial finance secretary. A cursory glance through the budget documents shows that the projected provincial current expenditures are exaggerated and inflated. This leaves the provincial government just a little over Rs18 billion from its own resources to finance its next year’s provincial PSDP.

“This is part of our plan to spend maximum funds on development schemes. We will meet the resource shortfall for development through savings and cuts in our current expenditure. This is how we have managed it this year,” Mr Baloch concluded.

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, June 29th, 2020


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed. Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area” For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number” Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell yo

RWR Advisory: Belt and Road at a Glance

This edition covers developments from March 12 - March 26..  Belt and Road at a Glance   Subscribe to the Belt and Road Monitor Top Developments China National Machinery Industry Corporation, commonly known as Sinomach, has agreed to  build  a $845 million, 255-mile railway across  Iran , building upon a sustained period of growth for Chinese investment in Iran that accelerated after Xi Jinping’s state visit to the country in January 2016. The railway will link the cities of Tehran, Hamedan and Sanandaj. China Civil Engineering Construction, a subsidiary of CRCC, is currently also  building  a 263-km railway line from Kermanshah to Khosravi. According to Chinese entrepreneur Lin Zuoru, who  owns  factories in Iran, “Iran is at the center of everything.”On March 23, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that foreign direct investment by Chinese companies in 50 Belt and Road countries fell by 30.9% year-on-year. While the Ministry stated that this number covers investment across al

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please help the deserving persons... Salary: Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows; Welder: Rs. 1,700 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.