The Punjab government presented its biggest ever Annual Development Programme (ADP) of Rs250 billion for the upcoming 2012-13 financial year, exceeding the development budget for the year ending June 30 by Rs30 billion.
Though significantly higher than last year’s budget, the funds will be spent on fewer projects 1,178 than the 1,904 projects allocated funds for 2011-12. The budget was presented by Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, who was assigned the portfolio of finance minister after Rana Asif Mehmood resigned over dual nationality issues.
The ADP includes Rs40 billion for 15 special initiatives: Rs1.5 billion for a low income housing scheme; Rs3 billion for a population welfare programme; Rs2 billion for the Danish Schools System; Rs2 billion for the Punjab Education Endowment Fund; Rs6.5 billion for the Punjab Education Foundation; Rs1.5 billion for the Technical Education and Vocation Training Authority; Rs5.5 billion for the Directorate of Labour Inspections; Rs1 billion for establishing the Punjab Technical University in Lahore; Rs3 billion for a self-employment scheme; Rs1 billion for women’s development; Rs500 million for an innovation development fund; Rs1.5 billion for an internship programme; Rs600 million for Parks and Horticulture Authorities; Rs5 billion for vertical health programmes; and Rs5.4 billion for various government sector companies established under the Companies Act.
The development budget includes Rs86.461 billion for social sector projects, a significant increase over the previous year’s allocation of Rs71.635 billion and the largest allocation for any sector in this year’s ADP.
A total of Rs62.9 billion has been earmarked for infrastructure development projects, up from Rs59 billion for the previous financial year; Rs8.615 billion for the production sector; Rs1 billion for the forestry, wildlife and fisheries sector; and Rs11.1 billion for the services sector, up from Rs5.89 billion the previous year.
The government allocated Rs5.424 billion for other sectors, including Rs350 million for the environment; Rs200 million for information, culture and youth affairs; Rs350 million for archaeology; Rs185 million for religious affairs; Rs220 million for human rights and minority affairs; and Rs4.119 billion for planning and development.
The budget includes Rs35.5 billion for special programmes and packages across various sectors to be announced by the chief minister in the upcoming financial year.
Of the Rs220 billion ADP for 2011-12, the government had utilised Rs120 billion by the end of May, and would likely be able to use only Rs150 billion by the end of June, said an official.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.
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