BA continues general debate on Budget 2017-18

QUETTA: General discussion of Balochistan budget 2017-18 presented in provincial assembly Thursday continued second day Monday.

Speaker Rahila Durrani chaired the session and adjourned it till Tuesday afternoon.

Taking part in the debate PML-N members Prince Ahmed Ali said two things are counted for any budget. One is budget deficit and the other increase in GDP. If GDP is improving it means there is prosperity. He said increase in per capita income is good but according to UNDP report our non development budget was increasing compared to development budget. There is need to create balance between them. He said we have to pay attention on increasing our own income alongside of federal pool. He said 1258 ongoing schemes have been continued it is good decision. Chief Minister and his team deserve commendation over it.

He said 10.93 per cent has been allocated for education. It should be increase further. Six percent have been set aside for health. There is also need for increase in it.

He said CPEC is of great significance for our province. For this we need to develop vocational institutions. Attention has been paid to this end in the budget. A vocational institute was being setup at Lasbela. Similarly work on BRC was underway. It need Rupees 200 million expenditure. Eighty millions have already been spent. This project is of importance for new generation.

Referring to agriculture he said 8 billion have been allocated for this sector. He said a proposal has been floated to rehabilitate 57 thousand acres of land in Dera bugti. It is very good but there is no mention of other districts. He said 2.81 m have been kept or livestock. There is need to increase this.

He said every budget has new vacancies. Posts have been created in the new budget. Work in IT sector was underway in Quetta Safe City project and Gwadar Safe City project. We need to preserve our inheritance.

Speaking net PMAP MP Masooma Hayat said attention has been paid on law and order, education, health and other sectors. It is good. Under prevalent situation coalition government deserves commendation. Upgradation of primary schools to Middle and middle schools to High level, grant of scholarships to the students and providing sufficient funds for local government s good sign.

PML-N MPA Samina Khan describing budget as people friendly said there should be pre budget session of provincial assembly. She said two sectors communication and education are our priority. Most of our roads would be covered under CPEC projects but we need to pay special attention on education. Majority of people is associated with agriculture and there is much need to be paid on this sector. Similarly government should focus on Tourism development. We have already passed a resolution on Ziarat. We have very small number of sites where people can go along with their families. In Hanna there is no good road, no good cafeteria or hotel.

Mufti Gulab of JUI-F expressing serious concerns over budget said that it is fifth budget of present government in which Opposition has been ignored totally. Schemes we gave were not included in the budget. It is for the first time funds for ongoing schemes have been distributed among treasury MPAs. It is the most failed budget of the country and province. Is it justice government MPA gets 3000 million and his constituency gets 200 million. Is his constituency not part of Balochistan or this department does not fall under purview of planning and development. We always speak of Punjab but when we came to power we are more cruel then Punjab.

Minority MPA from PMAP Wiliam Barkat termed the budget people friendly and said all the sectors have been given attention in the budget. Rupees 15 billion have been earmarked for drinking water which is good sign. Similarly transferring 500 tube wells on solar energy plan would resolve water problem and load shedding would also minimize. He said appointment of minority quota should be ensured. H said colonies built for sanitary workers at the advent of Pakistan are same and no new colony has been setup. Government should create scope for Class IV employees keeping budget in view.

Deputy Opposition leader Zamrak Achakzai expressing serious concern over budget and PSDP for coming year said we think taking money as corruption but there are several ways for this. It is one face of corruption that funds of one constituency are taken away to the other. Two budgets are presented every year. One federal and the other is provincial.

He said he challenges government members to point out any single mega project Centre has given to Balochistan after 2013. In 2008 we had a total of hardly 5 billion development budget. Today we are given 328 billion budget it is because of NFC award and 18th amendment. Our government ensured NFC award. Against after five years provinces have t sit but they did not. We repeatedly say if Balochistan is strong Pakistan would be strong. H said since 2013 HEC has registered 15 universities of the country and no one is from Baluchistan. PSDP has been prepared in haste over night. Why governor is being paid 500 million. He is not elected representative but representative of Centre. He is respectable for us but we should be told under what head he is being given this amount. He said if he files a petition then PSDP would not be spent.

He asked Chief Minister for sake of Allah review the budget. Promises made for the four years have not been fulfilled. Even today voice of House was not being listened. It is better for him to stage walk out.

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