QUETTA: Terming the behaviour of the opposition during the budget session of the Balochistan Assembly as deplorable, Balochistan Finance Minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi said that the ‘people-friendly financial bill’ for the upcoming fiscal year has incorporated all the proposals of the stakeholders.
“The Rs419.9 billion budget presented by the provincial government prioritises welfare and focuses on development projects,” the finance minister said while addressing the post-budget briefing at the Quetta Officers Club on Thursday.
“The opposition behaved inappropriately during Wednesday’s budget session,” he said, referring to the many acts of disruption orchestrated by opposition members including tearing the copies of the budget and littering the assembly floor with it.
“I am confident that after reading the copy of the budget, opposition members will be embarrassed over their behaviour,” he said. “Opposition to the budget is tantamount to opposing development and infrastructure in Balochistan.”
Sharing the details of provincial fiscal budget for 2019-20, Buledi said that the provincial government has paid keen attention toward health and education under the Public Sector Development Programme.
“We will announce 5,445 new jobs in government departments to fill up vacancies,” he said, adding that the government would also focus on the professional and personal development of its employees by involving them in skill and attitudinal development trainings.
The finance minister was flanked by Finance Secretary Noorul Haq Baloch, Additional Secretary Abdul Rehman Buzdar and provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani in the post-budget briefing.
Buledi said that the province was in the grip of a severe financial crisis when the incumbent government took the reins of the province. “The earnest efforts of Chief Minister Jam Kamal has helped in tackling the situation in professional manner and today the economic situation of the province is under control,” he said.
“In the upcoming budget, an amount of Rs291 billion has been allocated for development projects while Rs108 billion for non-development activities,” Buledi added.
Talking on government’s budget allocation for education, health and law and order, the finance minister said that Rs60 billion has been allocated for education, Rs34 billion for health and Rs44 billion for law and order.
“The salaries of government employees in grades one to 16 have been increased by 10 per cent while those in grades 17 to 20 have received a 5 per cent pay bump,” he said, adding that Rs17,500 have been set as minimum wage for labors.
He further said that the government has released rupees Rs3 billion for expansion of Sabzal Road while another Rs8 billion has been allocated for road expansion projects.
“In the last 10 months, we have worked on new legislations and reforms including overhauling government departments.
Finance Secretary Noorul Haq Baloch said that the current government has unveiled an unprecedented budget in the history of Balochistan. “An effective policy has been finalised regarding efficacious use of existing resources and increasing revenue.”