QUETTA, June 20 (APP): Amid the impacts of coronavirus, the Balochistan government Saturday unveiled its relief-oriented and pro-business budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21, with a total outlay of Rs465.528 billion.
Presenting the budget before the provincial assembly, Finance Minister, Mir Zahoor Ahmed Baladi said the total income for the upcoming year had been estimated at Rs377.914 billion, hence the budget deficit would be around Rs87.614 billion.
He said the revenues would include Rs302.904 billion federal transfers, Rs46.407 billion provincial receipts, Rs3.538 billion Foreign Fund Projects Assistance (FPA), Rs14.698 billion Capital receipts, and Rs10.366 billion Cash Carry Over.
The minister also announced Rs118.256 billion development budget under Public Sector Development Programme which include Rs12.177 billion Foreign Fund Projects Assistance (FPA). He said under the development budget, Rs50.875 billion would be spent on about 934 ongoing schemes where Rs57.381 billion had been earmarked for 1634 new projects.
He said the outlay of non-developmental funds for the next fiscal year 2020-21 would be Rs309 billion.
The minister said this time, the budget is being presented in a situation when coronavirus has engulfed the whole world and also affected Pakistan.
He said Balochistan government has taken comprehensive measures to streamline the resources of the province for coping with the negative effects of coronavirus and restoring economy.
He said health is among the priorities of the provincial government, adding the government has provided health professional allowance for those fighting against the Covid-19 at frontline besides announcing provision of two basic pays for health workers.
He also announced many development projects in health sector including establishment of Thalassemia center at Gwadar, new blocks at Sheikh Zaid Hospital for cancer patients, and other projects.
The minister also announced recruitment on around 6840 posts lying vacant in the province.
He said agriculture is the backbone of the provincial economy; however locust is having negative impacts on it, therefore Rs500 million has been earmarked for eradicating the locust in the upcoming fiscal year.
He said the government has provided Rs404 million during fiscal year 2019-20 to control the locust attack.
He also announced that farmers would be provided seeds, farming tools, while tunnel farming in the province would also be encouraged. He also announced Rs24 subsidy on fertilizers.
The minister announced upgradation of 39 colleges to Degree colleges, for which Rs301 million were being provided from PSDP. He also announced many comprehensive programmes for promoting education at all levels in the province.
He said for ensuring food security in the province, Rs2 billion interest free loans were provided to non-financial institutions to procure wheat whereas Rs300 million had been earmarked for food subsidy in the upcoming year.
Talking about the rural development, he said 105 new development schemes would be launched in upcoming year.
The minister also announced Rs60 million for Design Cell project aiming at modernization of communication and construction industry. He also announced internship programme for unemployed diploma holder engineers.
He said Rs1117 million had been earmarked for reorganization of Levies Force. He also announced several other projects related to irrigation, public health engineering, information, mines and minerals, fisheries, energy and industry and commerce.
The minister said for the first time Balochistan Tax Revenue Mobilization Strategy was being prepared to bring about tax reforms to help enhance revenue collection and reduce expenditures.
He said efforts would be made to reduce fiscal deficit during the upcoming fiscal year.