Balochistan Finance Minister Zahoor Ahmed Buledi has said the federal government has shelved plans to build the Quetta-Karachi highway from the federal PSDP for the new financial year.
Buledi said Balochistan could not develop without the help of the federal government. He complained that this year, the least developed province of the country will get Rs30 billion less in terms of the NFC while the plan for construction of the Quetta-Karachi highway has also been dropped from the federal PSDP.
During a post-budget briefing in Quetta on Monday, Buledi said Balochistan’s total budget for the current financial year is Rs465 billion, compared to Rs419 billion presented last year.
At present, 56 old and 900 new development schemes have been added in the PSDP.
“The Balochistan government has given tax exemptions in various sectors, including health and energy,” Buledi said.
He added that 1,000 people have benefited under the Balochistan Endowment Fund while Rs3 billion has been invested in socio-economic packages.
The finance minister also said that a Rs1 billion health insurance scheme has been rolled out for government employees and another Rs560 million has been set aside for locust eradication.
Meanwhile, it has also been decided to set up border markets at 13 places to enhance border trade in Balochistan.
Buledi said the health budget has been increased by 40% while 38 Intermediate colleges have been refurnished. Meanwhile, 75% funds have been released for last year’s development schemes.
Buledi said the budget deficit will be covered by improving the tax system. A new financial act will also be proposed for Balochistan.