Outlook for next year: Punjab budget boasts record uplift funds

The funds will be used on 1,904 ongoing and new development schemes in the financial year 2011-12.


Anwer Sumra June 10, 2011

LAHORE:


The Punjab government on Friday presented a record Rs220 billion Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the year 2011-12, an increase of 14 per cent over the Rs193.5 billion budget for the 2010-11 financial year ending on June 30.


The funds will be used on 1,904 ongoing and new development schemes in the financial year 2011-12. The programme dwarfs last year’s development budget of Rs193.5 billion, though the Punjab government had to cut Rs65 billion of spending from that because money was diverted to flood relief, as well as because of poor financial discipline, low revenue collection and various subsidies.

The notable allocations in the ADP include Rs3 billion for the Daanish Schools System, Rs2 billon for the Punjab Education Endowment Fund, Rs6 billion for the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF), Rs2 billion for the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA), Rs8.5 billion for Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Rs1.2 billion for low-income housing (including the Ashiyana housing scheme), Rs2.86 billion for population welfare and Rs6.44 billion for various companies.

The Daanish Schools, PEF, Tevta, MDG and companies will be funded from the current budget whereas the low-income housing schemes will be funded from the deposit account. The population welfare programme will be funded by the federal government.

The biggest spending will be on social sector projects, which have been allocated Rs71.635, up from Rs65.046 billion the year before. The government has also allocated Rs59 billion for infrastructure development, Rs10.525 billion for the production sector, Rs11.75 billion for the services sector, Rs5.89 billion for ‘others’ and Rs29.2 billion for ‘special programmes and packages’.

Of the social sector allocations, Rs23.9 billion is for education including Rs14.5 billion for schools, Rs6.5 billion for 187 higher education schemes, Rs6.5 billion for special education and Rs500 million for literacy. Other allocations include Rs800 million for sports, Rs14.8 billion for health, Rs10 billion for water supply and sanitation, Rs935 million for social protection, Rs15 billion for regional planning and Rs7 billion for local government and community development.

A total of Rs36.65 billion has been set aside for the completion of 253 road projects, Rs11.25 billion for 63 irrigation schemes, Rs2.6 billion for 192 public buildings schemes, and Rs8.5 billion for 67 urban development schemes.

The government has allocated Rs3.4 billion for 29 agriculture department schemes, Rs470 million for 18 forests schemes, Rs395 million for wildlife, Rs370 million for fisheries, Rs230 million for food, Rs2.5 billion for livestock and dairy development, Rs2.86 billion for industries, Rs300 million for mines and minerals department schemes.

It has allocated Rs2 billion for information technology programmes, Rs100 million for labour and human resources, Rs7.3 billion for transport, Rs2.1 billion for emergency services, Rs250 million for tourism, Rs350 million for environment, Rs170 million for information, culture and youth affairs, Rs150 million for auqaf, Rs220 million for human rights and minority affairs, and Rs5 billion for planning and development schemes.

The Rs29.2 billion for special programmes includes Rs12 billion for a one-time grant-in-aid for district governments, Rs1.2 billion for special infrastructure and Rs16 billion for special packages.

Analysis

Compared to last year’s budget, the Punjab government has increased spending on development, health, education and law and order. The allocation for interest on debt has gone down, but only by Rs2.7 billion. The spending on law and order has been increased by Rs3.6 billion. The increase in education and health, by Rs14.2 billion and Rs10.3 billion respectively, is mainly due to the devolution of federal ministries under the 18th Amendment. The government expenses in the upcoming year will increase by nearly 20 per cent.

Analysis

In this fiscal year, the amount of provincial taxes is going to be Rs88.5 billion. The government is also expecting non-tax revenue of Rs21.7 billion. According to the Finance Minister, Punjab has received Rs540.4 billion from the federal government.

Analysis

The Punjab government has decided to spend more on health, education and law and order. It has also proposed an ambitious development plan. The finance minister emphasised that the government was committed to bringing the rural infrastructure at par with the cities. The one reservation about the large development allocation (shown here minus the development spending in education, health and security) may be that only about half of the development budget last year was actually spent.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2011.

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