Despite the tall claims of breaking the begging bowl, the Punjab government will receive Rs9.97 billion foreign aid to share the announced Annual Development Programme (ADP) with a total outlay of Rs220 billion during the upcoming financial year. This represents an increase of 14 per cent to a record Rs220 billion for fiscal 2012 against Rs193.5 billion announced in the corresponding year.
According to budget documents, out of total foreign aid Rs677 million will be used in social sectors (education, literacy and regional planning) in upcoming ADP by the Punjab government. The Punjab government will receive Rs793 million for infrastructure development including Rs43 million in irrigation and Rs750 million in urban development in the province during 2011-12. The Punjab government will receive share of foreign aid Rs.8.5 billion for schemes to be initiated and completed under Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the province. The documents had exposed tall claims to refuse foreign aid for the government affairs made by the government, an official requesting anonymity said. The outstanding debt stock of the Punjab government stands at Rs492.32 billion which includes a domestic loan of Rs.76.25 billion and foreign debt Rs416.06 billion. The outstanding domestic debt stock of Punjab was Rs94.92 billion till June 2010 and the government arranged payment of Rs18.66 billion during current fiscal year.
As for the ADP, the earmarked funds will be utilised for 1,904 ongoing and new development schemes in the upcoming financial year 2011-12. An allocation of Rs70 billion has been made for the development of southern Punjab.
The biggest development budget in the history has given priority to the social sector with heavy allocation of Rs71.64 billion against pervious year’s Rs65.04 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.
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