Balochistan Finance Minister Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran on Tuesday unveiled the province’s budget for fiscal year 2022-23, with a total outlay of Rs. 612.7 billion against income of Rs. 540 billion.
According to Khetran’s speech, the government aims to collect Rs. 48.39 billion through provincial receipts; Rs. 55 billion through an extension bonus of the Sui gas lease; Rs. 14.36 billion in foreign project assistance; Rs. 12.21 billion in capital receipts; and Rs. 28.27 billion in federal development grants. It also has Rs. 11.36 billion in carryover cash and expects federal transfers of Rs. 370.33 billion.
He said the government had allocated Rs. 191.5 billion for the provincial Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), adding that current expenditure had been estimated at Rs. 366.7 billion. He said federal development projects beyond the PSDP had been estimated at Rs. 39.67 billion, while foreign project assistance would cost Rs. 14.92 billion.
The minister said that there were 3,367 development projects currently underway, and there were plans for 3,470 new projects. He said the government had approved a 15 percent increase to the salaries of public-sector employees in line with the pay rates of 2017, adding that a 15 percent raise had also been provided for pensions.
The provincial government has also raised the minimum wage for laborers to Rs. 25,000/month.
The finance minister said the budget had proposed Rs. 43 billion for the province’s health sector, Rs. 83 billion for education, Rs. 56 billion for the maintenance of law and order, and Rs. 1.75 billion for food security.
The budget was presented later than its previously scheduled date of June 20, with reports emerging that the treasury and opposition benches had differed on the quantum of the provincial development program. Even the presentation of the budget on Tuesday was delayed, starting after 7 p.m. despite having been scheduled for 4 p.m.