QUETTA : The PPP-led Balochistan coalition government on Monday presented Rs 152.017 billion tax-free budget with deficit of Rs 7.10 billion for the fiscal year 2010-11.
“The budget envisages development programme of Rs 26.75 billion including Rs 3.916 billion of foreign project assistance-FPA and with current budget of Rs 125 billion,” provincial finance minister Asim Kurd Gailu said in his speech while presenting the third annual budget of the coalition government in Balochistan assembly. The minister said the Balochistan Government would spend an amount of Rs 3 billion for the uplift of Education and Health sectors during the next fiscal year. He added that the literacy rate in Balochistan was only 34% as compared to the National Scale of 52%. The female literacy rate in rural areas of the province was only 10%.
He said that out of 1100,000 children in rural areas of Balochistan, only 700,000 access to the schools. The minister said that the provincial government has allocated an amount of Rs. one Billion for missing facilities in educational institutions. Out of this amount Rs 200 million has been allocated for purchase of furniture, Rs 400 million for repair and renovation of schools and a sum of Rs 200 million for repair and renovations of colleges of the province. In order to promote higher education among women the government has allocated Rs 110 million which would be spent on renovation and provision of facilities to Girl Colleges in the province.
The minister said that in order to overcome the staff shortage issue in the educational institutions, the provincial government has also decided to dedicate 5,000 posts provided by the Federal Government under Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package to Education Sector.” We have also created nearly 2000 fresh positions in Education Department with the commitment to address Single Teacher School dilemma”. Highlighting the measures taken by the government for the promotion of education in the province the minister added that 111 New primary schools have been established in the rural areas of the province, 109 primary schools have been upgraded as middle schools and 108 middle schools as high, 14 new inter colleges have been established in which degree classes have been resumed in 4 such institutions by up gradation.
Moreover, three Cadet Colleges in Pishin, Killa Saifullah and Jaffarabad have been made functional. The development work with regard to remaining Cadet Colleges in the province is in progress. The minister said the government was facing enormous challenges in Health Sector like shortage of medicines, missing facilities, paucity of resources, ill trained staff and absenteeism have been badly affecting the positive growth in this Sector. Infant Mortality Rate in Balochistan is 158 out of 1000 newly born children which are worst in the developing world.
“Similarly 4 out of 10 children in the rural areas are underweight due to food insecurities. Indeed a healthy society leads to a sustainable progress. Keeping this in mind our Provincial Government has decided to intervene and has allocated sufficient resources to coup up the missing facilities”, he said. In order to ensure provision of medicines to the poor of the province, the resources have been raised from 290 million to 1,300 million. Similarly to remove the deficiency of machinery and equipment particularly in the periphery, an amount of Rs. 1,000 million has been allocated during coming financial year, he said.
An amount of Rs. 100 million has been allocated for repair and renovation of health institutions in the province. Under the PSDP the government has upgraded 8 Civil Dispensaries as Basic Health Units (BHU), 14 BHUs have been upgraded as Rural Health Centers (RHC), One RHC has been upgraded a District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ), Two 50 bedded Hospitals each are being constructed by Worker Welfare Board and the Provincial Government, the Minister added. 14 new RHCs and 31 BHUs are being constructed by the government in the PSDP, the Cardiac Unit in the Sandeman Provincial Hospital has been made functional, the construction on 50 bedded Hospital each at Panjgur, Kalat, Much and Kuchlak is in progress and a 100 bedded hospital is being constructed in Mastung.