Education takes centre stage in Rs1.4t budget

Published: June 13, 2015
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PHOTO: ALLIED SCHOOLS

PHOTO: ALLIED SCHOOLS

PHOTO: ALLIED SCHOOLS The figures exclude the money that will be allocated from the federal divisible pool.
LAHORE: 

For the first time in the country’s history, a woman presented the largest-ever provincial budget. In her capacity as Punjab finance minister, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha unveiled the Rs1,447 billion fiscal 2016 budget of Punjab in the provincial assembly on Friday amidst opposition heckling.

The Punjab budget contained large allocations towards Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s signature priorities of infrastructure, education, health and law enforcement. The 2016 budget is a key component of the Punjab government’s economic growth strategy, aimed at doubling private investment, creating new jobs, increasing exports by 15% annually and achieving 8% economic growth.

Of the Rs1.4 trillion budget, Punjab will spend Rs400 billion on development in fiscal 2016. Another Rs753 billion will be spent on regular government expenditures such as paying school teachers, policemen, etc. This amount is just 7.6% higher than the previous year. The increase in current expenditure is owed to higher salaries of civil servants and pensions of those retired, as well as increased allocations for law enforcement and for the non-salary budget for schools.

The largest sector allocation overall will go to education: Rs310 billion or 27% of the total budget. Health has been allocated Rs166 billion, or 14% of the budget. Agriculture and rural development will get Rs144 billion, or 12.5% of the total. For law enforcement, Punjab will spend Rs109 billion, or 9.5%, of which Rs94 billion will go towards the police. Another Rs18 billion has been allocated for the provincial judiciary.

To pay for it all, Lahore will receive Rs889 billion from the federal divisible pool of taxes under the National Finance Commission award in addition to raising at least some revenues on its own.

In line with the federal government’s budget, the Punjab government has also increased salaries and pensions of government employees by 7.5% with a 25% increase in medical allowance. Minimum wage has also been set to match the federal level of Rs13,000 per month.

Of the development budget, the largest piece will go to infrastructure such as roads, irrigation and energy project, on which Punjab will spend Rs161 billion in fiscal 2016, including Rs52 billion for the Rural Roads Programme, and Rs35 billion for irrigation. Overall spending on rural infrastructure will get Rs150 billion in fiscal 2016. Development projects in education, health, water and sanitation and women’s resources will be allocated Rs119 billion.

Within the health sector, the allocations will go towards projects such as the Rs3 billion health insurance programme, mobile health units, and funding two hospitals in Lahore: a new hospital focused on oncology, as well as the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute. Education allocations include repairing dangerously damaged schools, improving school infrastructure, and building more Daanish schools. A grant of Rs600 million has been allocated to set up new primary schools in Punjab.

In her speech, Finance Minister Pasha said that energy projects worth Rs618 billion are currently under way in Punjab. Projects nearing completion include the 1,320 megawatt Sahiwal power plant, the Bahawalpur Solar Park and the coal power project at Pind Dadan Khan. Energy projects will receive Rs31 billion under the development budget for establishment of coal based power plants in Lahore and other districts of Punjab, as well as for run-of-the-river hydroelectric power projects.

The minerals sector has been allocated Rs2.2 billion. The government has also allocated funds for barrages including the Jinnah and Khanki barrages. For irrigation Rs50 billion have been set aside this year with Rs8.6 billion for livestock. The government has also allocated Rs1 billion for religious minorities under which scholarships would be given to students from minority backgrounds. Projects like skill development, Rozgar scheme, Punjab Social Protection Authority and protection centres for women and children have been announced by the government.

The government will also spend money this year computerising land records and improving its information technology systems.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • jiyala
    Jun 13, 2015 - 6:30AM

    Is that sarcasm? Because education has the lowest amount allocated to it among all the highlighted sectors.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 13, 2015 - 10:04AM

    @jiyala:
    Education gets 27% of overall budget. What do u want? An 80% allocation?Recommend

  • Bilal
    Jun 13, 2015 - 10:53AM

    ^Are you blind it says Rs310 billion or 27% of the total budget….Recommend

  • Waqar Omar
    Jun 13, 2015 - 11:08AM

    Punjab setting an example. Wonderful!Recommend

  • Chachoo
    Jun 13, 2015 - 11:20AM

    More than 146.99 Billion are being allocated for wheat trading. I think this amount is too much. The reason is that Punjab have to bear the burden of other provinces while acquiring wheat. In the next fiscal year the government must lower down this amount and should ask Federal government and other provinces to add their due share in wheat procurement. The money that will be left behind should be allocated to the Police.
    Also Research and Development (R&D) and Higher education allocation is almost non existent and it is a shame. Punjab should spend at least 3 percent of its budget on Scientific and Industrial research. Recommend

  • Adil
    Jun 13, 2015 - 11:51AM

    For those saying 310 billion is the 27% of the budget, including the writer does need to get some education!
    Just multiple 1.4 trillion with 0.27 and you will get to know how much is 27 percent of 1.4 trillion..Recommend

  • UJ
    Jun 13, 2015 - 12:19PM

    I hope education budget does not include budget for laptop schemes. Recommend

  • Ghulam Sarwar
    Jun 13, 2015 - 12:27PM

    No doubt CM Punjab is trying to deliver as much as he can.On the other hand,it can be easily judged that the other provinces are deprived of competent and energetic CM.Recommend

  • Punjab
    Jun 13, 2015 - 12:39PM

    Good effort…Specially budget for education.. this is coming from PTI supporter. Recommend

  • raider
    Jun 13, 2015 - 12:57PM

    @Pakistani:
    we will look how much of this budget will be withdrawn in favor of education in real terms with the passage of time, so many mini budgets will fellow this “gorkhdndah” of words and figures no MPs and illiterate public would take notice of it, majority of peoples are indifferent toward budget except govt servants and artificial poors for those money is being dolled out in the from of income support programmes and zakat or under fraudulent youth loan scheme, shabaz how many front you will counter imran khan, earlier punjabi find themselves lucky of having had laptops, then matros, now education budget increased to equate kpk just to keep figures up and fetch publicity by media, we will wait how much amount mr. cm actually releases for the purpose which seeming impossible(cut will be made on education budget otherwise projects like metros are unlikely to complete. it is all about in rivalry of mavia not in love of hussain Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 13, 2015 - 2:26PM

    1.4 trillion *1000= 1400 billion
    27% of 1400 billion equalls to almost 300 billion
    so why all the fussRecommend

  • Disgusting
    Jun 13, 2015 - 3:12PM

    @Pakistani:
    Grow up. It is the likes of you who never argue but just follow, who have let this country down.Recommend

  • Kickass
    Jun 13, 2015 - 3:16PM

    @Punjab:
    It is due to PTI.Recommend

  • ex gov employ
    Jun 14, 2015 - 1:39AM

    Sorry folks not want to hurt you but this is gimex played by Punjab govt. Will you people check what’s really spending on education. Who will give assurance that amount declared on education.and health will be truely spend on the deserving people. Shahbaz Sharif only knows how to make a 2 rupee road for 20 rupees. Recommend

  • Faizan
    Jun 14, 2015 - 3:05AM

    @raider:
    Iinstead of complaining on the internet vote for PML-N next time so you too will have a good infrastructure, educational and health care facilities in your province rather then stupid and foolish chants and slogans of tabdeeli and naya Pakistan. And fact remains the PML-N government is way more competent then the one working in any other province. I respect the fact that you are an Imran Khan admirer but trust me your future matters more then him becoming the Prime minister of this country. So think smart and do what is right and choose a better and competent leadership next time. Recommend

  • raider
    Jun 14, 2015 - 2:14PM

    @Faizan:
    i am Punjabi but difference is that i am not client, sharif destroying country by making institutions laughing stock and bring rot and weakening with passage of every time, malignant cancerous parts need to be amputated soon, get a life firstRecommend

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