QUETTA: The government in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday presented a Rs612.7 billion ($2.8 billion) budget for fiscal year 2022-23, allocating Rs191 billion ($906.4 million) for development projects in the province.
Provincial Finance Minister Abdul Rehman Khetran presented the budget for the impoverished Pakistani province during a session of the Balochistan Assembly in Quetta on Tuesday.
Describing it as a "people-friendly" budget, Khetran said the government had increased allocation for development, education, law and order, and health, besides a robust plan to create 8,000 jobs for the youth.
“Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and his cabinet made their utmost efforts to unveil a public-friendly budget to provide relief to the poor,” Khetran said in his budget speech.
"The government has increased the annual development budget to Rs191 billion ($906.4 million) and the non-development budget to Rs367 billion ($1.73 billion)."
The provincial government announced a 15 percent increase in the salaries of government employees as well as earmarked Rs43 billion ($203 million) for the health sector, Rs83 billion ($392 million) for education, and Rs56 billion ($264 million) for law and order in the province.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s least developed province that borders Iran and Afghanistan, and has been plagued by a low-level insurgency and sectarian divides for several years.
CM Bizenjo said his government decided to ensure development and provide relief to the poor, largely scattered populace despite limited resources.
“We have focused on the issues pestering the people and all constituencies have been given equal [number of] projects in order to develop the province,” he told reporters after the budget session.
"We have many expectations from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that the federal government will assist the province in completion of mega development projects."
Bizenjo said the provincial government had given priority to health and education sectors to provide facilities to the people of Balochistan at par with Sindh and Punjab.
“Our government has increased the salaries of government employees by 15 percent,” he added. "In this budget, we have also decided to engage our youth in various internship programs in government departments until they get permanent jobs."