QUETTA, June 21: The Balochistan government presented on Saturday a Public Sector Development Programme of Rs.15.74 billion for the next fiscal year, which is substantially higher than the revised Annual Development Plan (ADP) of Rs.12.58 billion PSDP of the current fiscal year of 2007-08.
The budget document shows the Balochistan government contribution in next ADP at Rs.11.75 billion with Rs3.98 billion worth of foreign participation.
In his budget speech on Saturday in Balochistan Assembly Finance Minister Mir Asim Kurd spoke of a built-in deficit of Rs8.80 billion in the ADP. A special grant of Rs3 billion by the prime minister will partly meet this deficit, while the Rs5.80 billion gap will be met through enhancement of provinces resources and austerity measures.
New initiatives involving Rs.3.25 billion have been taken in 2008-09 ADP, while the highest amount of Rs.4.81 billion has been allocated for the development in roads in the province.
The government has allocated Rs954 billion for developing water resources in the province during the next financial year.
“ 103 new and old water development and rehabilitation schemes have been completed in the current fiscal year of 2007-08,” the minister announced. He expressed confidence to complete big projects under Clean Water for All and Kacchi Plain Water in 2008-09.
With completion of Kacchi Plain water project, he said the problem of clean water supply to Bhag city, Bakhtiarabad, Chilgari, and Haji City will be solved.
He announced the installation of a filtration plant at every union council and disclosed that 567 such plants were being set up next year.
Rs.18 million are being provided for rehabilitation of water supply schemes affected by last year’s seasonal flood. Some 374 schemes have either been repaired or are under repair.
Education sector has been given Rs.2.22 billion. Under the programme 10 cadet colleges are being set up, five of these have been constructed, while approval for five others have been given.
Polytechnique colleges are being set up, including some for women at Gwadar, Loralai, Khonozai, Khuzdar, Sibi and Uthal. Moreover one residential college each at Uthal and Zhob are being set up.
Some sort of educational institution is being set up in every district of the province. The government is also planning to help private sector in establishing 300 educational institutions under Balochistan Education Foundation.
An amount of Rs.1.18 billion has been allocated for Balochistan Development Authority, followed by Rs41.60 million for Balochistan Coastal Development Authority, Rs.25 million for Quetta Development Authority and only 10.25 million for Gwadar Development Authority.
According to the minister the provincial income from mining activities has increased from Rs.100 million to Rs.500 million during last year.
Balochistan, he declared, is the biggest coal producer in the country yielding more than 2 million tons a year.
He spoke of Chamalang coal mine project, which is likely to provide jobs to 25,000 people.
Mir Asim Kurd disclosed that the World Bank was investing $40 to 45 million in exploring minerals in the province during next financial year. He said that Pakistan Steel Mills has also started using Balochistan iron ore and coal.
For agriculture sector the provincial government has allocated Rs.142 million in the next year’s PSDP while livestock sector would get Rs.47 million. For the development of mineral sector Rs.154 million would be spent during next financial year.
The government has reserved an amount of Rs264 million for Public Health Engineering and Rs.130 million for Local Government sector in the next year’s PSDP.
An amount of Rs.979 million was shown in the PSDP for 5 ongoing schemes.
The finance minister announced that the government would spend Rs56 million on environment sector while on social welfare sector Rs.37 million would be spent in 2008-09.
Information technology and tourism sector would get Rs.8 and Rs.10 million in the next PSDP. However, government has allocated Rs.45 million for the promotion of culture in the province while Rs31 million would be for promoting sports.
The government has allocated Rs42.56 million for industries and Rs.12 million for fisheries. A sum of Rs.36.70 million would be spent on forestry and Rs.45.14 million on power sector.