QUETTA: The PML-N-led Balochistan coalition government on Thursday unveiled the provincial budget for fiscal year 2017-18 with a total outlay of Rs328 billion.
"The budget envisages development programme of Rs86 billion including Rs6.01 billion under foreign project assistance (FPA) and current expenditure of Rs242 billion," Adviser to Chief Minister on Finance Sardar Aslam Bizenjo explained during the budget session here at the provincial assembly.
He said the total estimated receipts are Rs276.371 billion out of which Rs12.401 billion will come as the province's own income and Rs229.97 billion as federal transfers, including Rs17.283 billion direct transfers. He said the deficit amounting to over Rs50 billion would be met from promised grants by the federal government, budgetary support and public representative programme (PRP) and by enhancing the province's own resources.
About relief to government servants in the coming fiscal year, Aslam Bizenjo said he was pleased to announce 10 percent increase in salaries of government servants and the same increase in pension of retired servants of the Balochistan government from July 1, 2017. Regarding measures which had so far been taken for ending unemployment in Balochistan, he said the provincial government had created innumerable new posts in various departments in the previous years while 6,000 new posts will be created during the next provincial budget.
Referring to law and order, Aslam Bizenjo said before the present provincial government law and order situation was bad in the province which gradually improved as a result of positive government policies. He said the provincial government has earmarked Rs35 billion under the head of public order and safety affairs, which will help improve the security situation across the province.
About the education sector, Aslam Bizenjo said Rs45 billion had been allocated for education sector in the provincial budget 2017-18. He said the provincial government has evolved a five-year Balochistan education sector plan under which not only new schools will be set up but also upgrading of existing schools will be carried out besides introducing early childhood education in the province.
He said 725 new primary schools will be established, 500 schools will be upgraded to middle level and 500 middle schools will be upgraded to higher level. He said teachers are recruited on merit and every facility is provided in the schools.
Aslam Bizenjo said an amount of Rs18 billion has been allocated for health sector in the provincial budget 2017-18 which has a five percent increase than the past year. He said the performance of health department is currently far better than the previous years as today the patients have improved health facilities at their doorsteps.
Terming the agriculture sector the backbone of provincial economy, he said the present provincial government is determined to improve the agriculture sector and has allocated Rs8 billion for this sector in the next provincial budget.
The allocated amount will be spent on bringing 57,000 acres of land under cultivation in Dera Bugti district while agricultural farms will also be set up across the province. About the livestock sector, he said an amount of Rs2.81 billion has been allocated for this sector in the provincial budget 2017-18. He said the allocated amount will be spent on completion of eight major projects besides ensuring veterinary services across the province.