Development budget: Punjab slammed for failing to utilise funds

Business forum calls govt inefficient for facing Rs114 billion deficit

Our Correspondent June 18, 2016
Business forum calls govt inefficient for facing Rs114 billion deficit. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has hit out at the Punjab government for failing to fully utilise allocations under the Annual Development Plan (ADP) for the current fiscal year.

The province could spend only 60% of the ADP, though fiscal year 2015-16 is coming to an end.

In a statement, APBF President Ibrahim Qureshi, while expressing his reservations, said funds allocated for agriculture, education and health would be used by the Orange Line project.

“Despite high taxes in every sector, a deficit of Rs114 billion is ample proof of inefficiency of the economic managers,” he remarked.

Qureshi pointed out that Rs24 billion had been allocated for health in the current fiscal year, but just Rs3.5 billion was spent.

He said the total debt of Punjab had crossed Rs625 billion whereas annual interest expenses on loans rose above Rs125 billion. He called the Rs50-billion Kissan Package misleading for the farmers.

Regarding overall economic situation in the country, Qureshi stressed that despite improvement in the security situation and the economy growing at an eight-year high pace, Pakistan was facing the risk of default as 42% of its foreign debt, around $50 billion, was due to be repaid in 2016.

Around $30 billion is due between July and September, of which $8.3 billion will be in foreign currency, depleting 40% of the country’s $21 billion foreign exchange holdings.

“Pakistan’s high level of public debt, with a large portion financed through short-term instruments, does make its ability to meet financing needs more sensitive to market conditions.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2016.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ