QUETTA:,,, Rupees 215.713 billion Balochistan Budget for financial year 2014-15 with a deficit of Rupees 15.662 billion was announced by Adviser on Finance Khalid Khan Langav in provincial assembly here Thursday afternoon.
In his budget speech Khalid Langav said this includes Rupees 50.742 development budget inclusive of foreign assistance of Rupees 2.723 billion.
He said non development budget would be Rupees 164.971 billion while rupees 29.921 have been earmarked for capital expenditures. Provincial own income has been estimated at Rupees 8.970 billion.
Adviser on finance said size of PSDP for 2014-15 has been proposed at Rupees 50.741 billion. Education, health, law and order, drinking water, communications, water and energy sectors have been accorded priority.
Keeping in view financial difficulties and to minimize budget deficit Balochistan government was following simplicity and austerity measures he added. He said Public Procurement Regulatory Authority has been established to scrutinize unnecessary financial matters.
To regularize sales tax and improve recovery of other means of income Balochistan Revenue Authority has been established. There will be ban on purchase of luxury vehicles. Public Accounts Committee would be formed immediately and continuity of its actions would be maintained. Treatment abroad at government expenses, ban on participation in seminars, conferences and workshops would be strictly implemented.
He said Balochistan was passing through a major era of Change. It is a scene to which eyes have been thirty for centuries. A new morning was dawning at Balochistan’s soil. Mega projects launched at this soil are signs of new dawn. We are witness to this new morning who would benefit from its fruits.
He said Balochistan is an ancient province. It is 43 percent of country’s area and its population is more than 8.5 million. Owing to its location it occupies great significance. Nature has blessed us with 1129 Km long coastal belt. Our coastal areas are of great importance economically. This sol has immense mineral resources which need to be explored and exploited. We have vast reserves of gold, silver and copper besides natural gas, oil and coal. Gas was discovered first in Balochistan in 1952 which played a key role in economic uplift of the country. Balochistan is junction of Pakistan’s commercial activities and economic stability.
For the first time in Pakistan’s constitutional history autonomy of provinces was increased greatly through 18th amendment which is a true and real step towards provincial autonomy. It has laudable role of Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. On the basis of Article 172 (3) Federation and provinces were declared equal stakeholders in oil and gas reserves. After this constitutional amendment not only our economy would strengthen but foreign invest would also increase here which would minimize unemployment he added.
He said public interest oriented and collective importance development projects were being implemented. It is our full commitment of our coalition government to eliminate backwardness of the province and would not sit with rest so long we achieve our objectives. A developed, prosperous, self reliant and progressing Balochistan is our aim. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s deep interest has key position in this concept.
He said for good governance better financial discipline is must and we are trying best for it and its positive results were becoming true.
Adviser on Finance said during the new financial year rupees 17251.118 million have been earmarked for law and order under non development budget. It is about 27 percent more than current financial year.
He said law and order issue is linked with missing persons. It is our stand from day one that without stippling recovery of mutilated dead bodies and recovery of missing persons we cannot move forward. It is encouraging that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has adopted positive attitude in this regard and assured of every cooperation. He said Rupees 243.980 million have been set aside for purchase of modern and quality weapons to modernize Police and Levies Force to meet present situation and challenges.
He said Balochistan Education Endowment Company has been formed with Rupees five billion. Through this five thousand boy and girl students would be given scholarships for study at national and foreign educational institution. Coalition government has allocated Rupees 324.884 million for providing facilities in the schools and colleges during next financial year. He said 300 primary schools have been upgraded to Middle and 200 middle schools as high schools during the current financial year. Rupees 500 million CM Endowment Fund has been established.
He said construction of Cadet Colleges Pishin and Kohlu was underway. He aid Rupees 4 billion are estimated to fully activating these cadet colleges. On the directives of Balochistan Governor a new cadet college in Chaman has been programmed. It would cost Rupees 1 billion. Provincial government also intends to setup residential colleges in Killa Abdullah and Sibi which would cost nearly Rupees 2 billion. Residential colleges are established at Turbat, Loralai and Khuzdar while residential Colleges would start functioning form next financial year in Uthal and Zhob. One hundred children would be given admission in every cadet college and residential college annually. Intermediate boards would be setup during 2014-15 in Khuzdar, Turbat and Loralai. A University will be setup in Sibi while Agriculture University would be established in Quetta. Besides COMSAT University was being set up at Gwadar.
He said Rupees 14.148 billion have been allocated for non development budget in health sector which are 26 percent higher than previous year.
He said it is satisfying that owing to government measures no new case of polio was detected during the past 22 months and perhaps Balochistan can be called polio free. He said it is encouraging that more than 7500 LHW have been regularized in t he province. He said during the new financial year Rupees 1.214 billion free medicines would be provided.
Khalid Langav said agriculture is backbone in our economy. He said 65 percent of population of the province is associated with agriculture directly or indirectly. Nature has blessed Balochistan with different fruits, crops. We have good name for our apples, grapes, dates and apricot.
He said our government was taking special measures for developing agriculture sector. Various projects of quality seeds and supply of saplings, fertilizers and insecticides, modern means of agriculture and access of agriculture produce to market. He aid nearly 4 million acres of agrarian land is available in the province and agriculture produce can b e increased many folds by levelling it.
He said Rupees 6351 million have been provided for agriculture sector under non development budget. These are 14 percent more than previous year. There is proposal for launching Green Balochistan Phase-II for which Rupees 1.5 billion are being provided. He said 0.2 million tonnes of dates are produced in Mekran Division. A proposal for establishing modern market square was underway for packing and marketing of dates.