QUETTA: The Balochistan government on Wednesday announced a Rs419.92 billion budget with a Rs41.71bn deficit amid chaos in the provincial assembly.
The session was delayed for over two hours as opposition members protested over not receiving copies of the provincial budget document in a timely manner.
MPAs belonging to the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) staged a protest to vent their anger, littering the floor of the House with tattered copies of the budget.
Opposition Leader in the Balochistan Assembly Advocate Malik Sikandar complained there was “no sign of progress in the province”, while former chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani described the budget to reporters outside the assembly as an “anti-masses budget”.
BNP-M lawmaker Sanaullah Baloch expressed concern that the “rulers have failed to address key concerns of the masses in the budget”.
The salaries and pensions of government employees have been increased by 10%. The total developmental budget has been set at Rs108 billion while non developmental budget would be RS 257 billion.
The budget deficit is Rs48 billion and Rs55.72 billion have been set for education. Rs14.95 billion have been allocated for higher education. For health Rs34.18 billion, for law and order Rs44.70 billion, Rs2.50 billion for mining while Rs2.98 billion were allocated for livestock and forests in the provincial budget.
150 new federal projects would be started in the province while 100 projects with the help of foreign donors would also be started. Rs 28 billion have been set for water projects in the province. For industry Rs 19.7 billion and Rs 1.60 billion for sports and tourism have been allocated in the budget.
Besides this the province would receive Rs2.81 trillion from federal government and Rs 34 billion for its resources. The province would also get RS 10 billion in the context of gas development surcharge.
Rs1bn have been allocated for Gwadar and Quetta safe city projects.
The Balochistan finance minister announced that Rs1.60 billion for sports and tourism have been allocated in the budget. Rs3bn has been allocated for the construction of Sports Complexes in Divisional HQs. Rs 254.4m allocated for youth convention and talent hunt and scholarships.
Rs500m have been allocated for construction of new dams in the province. Rs 500m allocated for construction of Shinzani Dam in Gwadar to cope with the water crisis faced by the people of Gwadar while Rs1.5bn allocated for construction of Bolan Dam. Rs30m each allocated for Balochistan Film Development fund and establishment of media academy.
Rs126 billion rupees have been allocated for the development sector of the province. For urban planning and development, Rs500 million has been committed for the development of Ziarat Town, while for local and rural development, Rs 300 million has been allocated for Sunday bazaars in each district HQ.
Rs300 million have been allocated for Quetta master plan.