Balochistan reduces Rs15b budget deficit

QUETTA - Finance Minister of Balochistan, Sardar Abdur-Rehman Khaitran on Wednesday said the far-reaching policies of the provincial government helped reduce the budget deficit of the fiscal year 2022-23.

“FY budget 2021-22 was approved with Rs87 billion deficit while current year the deficit was Rs72 billion, 15 billion less than the previous year,” he said during the post-budget briefing held here at Boys Scouts. Balochistan Finance Secretary Hafiz Abdul Basit, Secretary Planning and Development Abdullah Noorzai accompanied the minister.

Highlighting the salient features of the FY2022-23 budget, the finance minister said that first time in the history, distribution of resources were made on merit and without any discrimination. “Members from treasury and opposition benches were equally awarded uplift projects for the betterment of their respective constituency’s people,” he said.

We have discouraged the trend of awarding contracts to non- elected, dearer and nearer ones and blued eyed persons as used to be done in the previous governments.

Giving details about the provincial government’s sources of revenue, the minister said that “major sources of revenue of Balochistan are from the federal government in the form of divisible pool and taxes and others.” “The Balochistan government expects to receive Rs355 billion from the divisible pool which is an increase of Rs 60 billion or 20 percent as compared to last year (2021-22: 296 billion).”

However, the government will face a reduction of Rs10 billion in revenue on account of exhaustion of the arrears on Gas Development Surcharge (GDS) being paid since the year 2010-11 in 12 equal annual installments and completing on year ending June 30, 2022.

Finance Minister says 1.8 million families will be provided health cards facility

On the receipts side, he noted that estimates of receipts document gives us a broad picture of details of revenues of the government of Balochistan from all sources including tax both direct and indirect, non tax, miscellaneous, grants, dividends and capital receipts.

“We are committed to increase our own sources of revenue both tax and non-tax, whereas it is highly hoped that during the ongoing 10th NFC award, the share of the province is expected to be upwardly revised on account of increase in population and high development gap  and poverty backwardness.” He also hoped that the CPEC projects and development of mining sectors would increase tax and non tax revenue of the province in future by multiplying factor.  Minister recalled that billions of rupees have been allocated for plenty of mega projects to be initiated in Balochistan.

These included Nag to Washuk road project, construction of small and medium dams, water solar schemes, highway security projects, provision of laptops and internship to students and dams and roads for south Balochistan.

To a question he said that the government accords priority to the education, employment and health sectors as 1.8 million families will be provided health cards facility.

A total of 8000 people mainly from Chaghi and Taftan areas of Balochistan will be given employment opportunities as agreed upon by the mining company in the Reko Diq project. “The government took sincere and serious steps for resolving the Reko Diq investment dispute and tried to bring the maximum possible benefit for the province along with foreign direct investments which in addition to bringing vast economic resources will bring employment opportunities,” he maintained. About non-development expenditure, the minister said that historically, a major chunk of our revenue was consumed over the non-development expenditures.

govt formulates

Livestock Policy, says Sardar Khetran

Balochistan Finance Minister Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran has said that the provincial government has for the first time launched the Balochistan Livestock Policy which has been formulated for the next ten years and its implementation is underway. He said this while presenting the budget of Balochistan for the next financial year in the House the other day.

Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran said that most of the population of Balochistan was directly or indirectly connected with livestock. In the provincial economy, livestock is part of 48 percent of agriculture sector and 52 percent of GDP in agriculture sector, he mentioned. Livestock Policy which has been formulated for the next ten years is being implemented for betterment of the Livestock and Agriculture sectors. He said that 13 million animals have been treated in current year and more than 12 million animals were vaccinated which is significant for the development of Livestock Department.   Balochistan Government provides about 33 mobile veterinary ambulances to the Livestock sectors under Veterinary Projects for betterment of the same sector.  He said provincial government under leadership of Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Abdul Quddus was striving to develop each field of Balochistan for the welfare of the masses.

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