QUETTA: Balochistan Minister for Finance Engineer Zmarak Khan Achakzai unveiled the province’s budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, with a total size of Rs750 billion.
The Balochistan Assembly session was chaired by Balochistan Assembly Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali, while Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, ministers and members of the provincial assembly were also present.
The finance minister said in his budget speech that over Rs229.301 billion have been earmarked for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), and the volume of non-development expenditure has been kept at Rs437 billion.
Achakzai said that the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 was tax-free. He said that the budget deficit for the next financial year was Rs49 billion, while Rs65 billion have been allocated for health in the budget.
He said salaries of employees from grades one to 16 have been increased by 35%, while a 30% raise has been given to employees from grades 17 to 22. Also, the pensioners will get a 17.5% increase.
A total of Rs87 billion have been earmarked for the education sector. He said that Rs53 billion have been set for law and order and security in the budget.
The total revenue of Balochistan is estimated at Rs701 billion for the next financial year, he said, adding that Rs170 billion have been allocated for 4,721 ongoing schemes during the new financial year.
He said that Rs58 billion have been allocated for 5,068 new schemes, while 100 new primary schools would be given the status of secondary and 50 primary schools would be given the status of high schools.
The minister said that 863 new posts would be created for the betterment of the education sector, adding that in the budget, Rs12 billion have been allocated for the development of primary and secondary education.
At least Rs1.5 billion have been allocated for the development of livestock and Rs5.4 billion for the non-developmental purpose of the animal affairs sector.
Achakzai said that most of the population of Balochistan was directly or indirectly related to livestock, adding that under the Prime Minister of Pakistan programme, projects for fattening sheep and goats at a cost of Rs320 million and Rs630 million for the promotion of rural poultry farming in Balochistan were in progress.
He said that this year, 28,000 rural chickens were distributed among 2,800 widows and poor families of Gwadar, Dera Bugti, Kachhi, Nasirabad, Jhal Magsi, Harnai, Jafarabad and Shirani in different districts of the province. Rural chickens have already been distributed in the remaining districts, he noted.
He said that due to the timely action of the government, vaccines were purchased at a cost of Rs50 million to save cows from the lumpy skin disease, and the farmers in the entire province were saved from heavy losses by continuing the vaccine. More than Rs180 million were released to provide maximum facilities to farmers.
Source : Geo News