Balochistan to unveil budget today

Civil servants’ salaries proposed to be increased up by 25%

Our Correspondent June 21, 2024
Interim Ministers Sarfaraz Bugti and Murtaza Solangi address a press conference in Islamabad on October 2, 2023. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB


Balochistan will increase the salaries of its employees by 25 per cent as it is going to present its eagerly-awaited budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 today (Friday).

The Balochistan Finance Minister, Mir Shoaib Nowsherwani, will unveil the budget in the provincial assembly. Governor Balochistan, Sheikh Jaffar Mandokhail, has convened the session for this purpose on June 21 at 4 pm.

With a strong emphasis on education and health, the budget aims to uplift key sectors and improve the lives of citizens across the province. Key highlights include a significant 25 per cent salary increase for government employees, recognizing their dedication and service.

Non-development education spending will surge from Rs79 billion to Rs107 billion, marking a remarkable 35 per cent increase, underscoring the government’s commitment to quality education and skill development.

Similarly, the health sector budget will also witness a boost, with funding rising from Rs51 billion to Rs67 billion, a 30 per cent increase. Notable projects include the establishment of a state-of-the-art hospital in Naseerabad and the expansion of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in Quetta.

Transportation initiatives will see the expansion of the Peoples Bus Service in Turbat and the addition of green buses in Quetta, enhancing public transportation options. The federal Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) allocation for Balochistan will increase by 61 per cent, reaching Rs58 billion.

Revenue projections anticipate Rs647 billion from federal receipts and an eight per cent growth in provincial receipts, from Rs111 billion to Rs121 billion.

Despite ambitious spending, the budget aims for prudent fiscal management, covering the deficit of Rs701 billion through better financial planning and reducing non-development outlay from Rs437 billion to Rs430 billion.

During a news conference, Balochistan Ministers Mir Zahoor Buledi and Shoaib Nowsherwani provided these crucial details. The budget reflects the government’s commitment to progress, welfare, and sustainable development for the people of Balochistan, they claimed.

Before the Eid, Balochistan chief minister announced to increase the education budget by 300 per cent and health allocations by 100 per cent in the next fiscal budget.

Chief Minister has set a new precedent by involving both government coalition parties and opposition members in the consultation process for the annual budget.

This unprecedented collaboration was showcased during a lunch organized by the Chief Minister on Saturday, which saw the participation of Speaker Provincial Assembly Abdul Khaliq Achakzai among other key political figures.

For the next fiscal year, the Balochistan government has proposed a significant increase in budget allocations for education and health.

The education budget is set to rise by 300 per cent, while the health budget will see a 100 per cent increase. This substantial boost reflects the government’s priority to improve these critical sectors.

Chief Minister highlighted that the first-ever inclusion of development projects approved under PC-1 in the budget will ensure transparency and accountability. He assured that the tendering process for these projects will commence from the first week of the new fiscal year, emphasizing the responsibility of concerned departments to monitor the progress effectively.

In an ambitious move to enhance education opportunities, the Chief Minister announced the launch of the Benazir Bhutto Scholarship Program. This initiative will open doors to 200 universities worldwide, including prestigious institutions like Oxford, for students from Balochistan, with the government covering their annual expenses.


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