The Balochistan government has earmarked Rs45 billion for development projects in next fiscal year of 2014-15 whereas Rs155 billion will be allocated to the non-development sector, according to Information Minister Rahim Ziaratwal. Speaking at the Balochistan Assembly on Monday, Ziaratwal announced the plan after presenting budget proposals. The session started after a 45-minute delay and was chaired by Deputy Speaker Qudoos Bezinjo.
Ziaratwal said the total budget would be Rs200 billion. “Health and Education will be prioritized again. Social sectors, irrigation, forest, livestock and environment are also included in the priority list,” he told the assembly. “There has been no proper planning in Balochistan by previous governments, which negatively impacted the provincial departments,” he claimed.
The information minister said the government had sought help from experts in order to better plan development and non-development projects. He emphasized that there would be an increase in the budget allocation to the forest and environment departments. “The allocation for the forest department is not enough,” agreed Ubaidullah Babat, advisor to CM on Forest Department. He pointed out that the annual allocation for the Livestock Department is merely Rs17 million, which does not cover the cost of vaccinations.
Meanwhile, the Special House Committee’s report on the attitude of the police was tabled in the Assembly on Monday evening. National Party MPA Yasmeen Lehri tabled the report on the misconduct of some police personnel towards parliamentarians at Governor House. The report said that senior police officials had apologized on the police officials’ behavior.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2014.