QUETTA: The finance minister for Balochistan, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, has denied rumors that there were disagreements over the new provincial budget that was unveiled on Tuesday.
He claims that the budget was created with the intention of equally sharing resources across the whole province.
He and Secretary of Finance Hafiz Abdul Basit both made clarifications at the post-budget press conference on Wednesday.
“It is centered on the initiatives of the elected officials of the region, and the chamber authorized it with the agreement and no cabinet officials from the political allies disagreed with budget proposals,” he said.
Suleman Mufti, the order to meet the current secretary for development plans, Secretary Abdullah Khan Nourzai for execution, and other finance managers were also present.
According to Sardar Khetran, in the past, funding for development was handed to relatives, contractors, and non-elected individuals, denying elected opposition members the ability to propose and start development initiatives in their districts.
We have determined that not a single development plan would be carried out by non-elected individuals, he stated.
Within six months, a health card will be provided, and a Balochistan Bank will be established in 2019.
Regarding budget plans, he stated that the budget outlay for 2022–23 was Rs612.7 billion, of which Rs191.5 billion had been set aside for the PSDP and an Rs72.3 billion gap would exist between revenue and expenditure.
He stated that 1,238 projects totaling Rs92 billion have been completed out of the Rs172 billion PSDP for the previous fiscal year.
In response to a query, he stated that the Balochistan Bank will be established next year with the aid of banking professionals and that health care would be provided within six months.
A different card was provided in other provinces, he added, notwithstanding the Balochistan government’s prior declaration that the identity card served as a health card.
He declared that the administration will take steps to boost provincial revenue to enhance the amount of money available for the PSDP and close the budget gap.
The minister said that despite not enacting any new taxes, the Balochistan government will make efforts to improve the efficiency of the current review collecting system to boost provincial revenue.
The Reko Diq gold and copper mining operation would be prioritized as an additional source of income in the upcoming years.
In response to a query, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran stated that the province now owed Rs55 billion, which had been budgeted for repayment.
Additionally, Rs 1 billion has been set out for Quetta’s water recharge and the construction of water reservoirs to both boost the water level and store it.
23 fisheries development projects would each receive Rs5 billion, while non-developmental programs will receive Rs1.24 billion.
He said that the cabinet had resolved to have the fisheries department employees handle maritime law enforcement.