12.984 billion rupees budget presented in GBLA

GILGIT, June 23 (APP): The Rs.12,984.001 million Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) budget for the fiscal year 2010-11 was presented on Wednesday. GB Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar presented the budget in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly session, which was chaired by Speaker Wazir Baig. The new budget provides allocation of Rs. 6,404.889 million for non-development expenditures, while the remaining amount has been earmarked for the development projects. Delivering the budget speech in the GBLA, Muhammad Ali Akhtar announced 50 per cent raise in the salaries of government employees with 100 per cent increase in medical allowance of employees from BPS 1 to 15, and 15 percent rise for employees from BPS 16 and above.

He told the House that the government requires Rs. 1227.740 million to meet this expenditure.

He also announced 50 percent raise in salaries of Police personnel and said the pay structure was being reviewed to bring it at par with other areas of the country.

The Finance Minister said that 1500 new vacancies are being created during the next financial year.

He informed the House that though subsidies have been withdrawn throughout the country but subsidy on wheat amounting to Rs. 1878.600 million will remain intact in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said a significant amount has been allocated for education sector besides increasing number of scholarships from existing 300 students to 600 students.

He said that all the secretaries and heads of the departments have been declared Principal Accounting Officers of their respective departments after promulgation of GB order 2009, enabling them to ensure speedy disposal of their financial matters under system of the financial control and Budgeting System 2009.

Operating expenses have been reduced by 26.5 percent as compared to financial year 2009-10 to make provision for recruitment against 1500 posts and 250 posts in Police department to improve Law and Order situation.

The finance minister told the House that for socio-economic improvement of poor segments, Benazir Income Support Program was being initiated for which a survey is underway.

He said that for the year 2010-11, Rs. 638.486 million has been increased for non-development budget, while Rs. 700 million have already been released for implementation of the empowerment order 2009.

He said that the government has established 6 new departments and for this purpose, six posts of secretaries have been created to run the affairs of the departments.

He said that keeping in view the growing population, new divisions, districts, sub divisions and tehsils are to be created. To improve the system of jail, a full-fledged separate department of jail is being set up, he added.

He said that services department has been directed to ensure 10 per cent quota for women and a department of Disaster Management Authority is being established to deal with calamities.

He further said that during the upcoming fiscal year, the revenue of the GB government has been targeted at Rs. 355.124 million.

He said that the development budget has been divided into two parts, with Rs. 3127.8 million allocated for 9 ongoing and one new projects under the PSDP, while Rs. 1234.6 allocated for Special Development Package.

The Finance Minister said that for the year 2010-11, Rs. 349.17 million have been earmarked as block allocation to complete 258 projects out of 611.

He told that block allocation is divided into two parts as 20 percent was allocated to initiate new projects whereas 80 percent to be spent on completion of ongoing projects.

He said that for power sector, the government has allocated Rs. 1140 million to complete 14 projects.

Similarly, he said the government has allocated Rs. 952.2 million for Transport and Communication sector. Besides, 50 Kilometer roads will be carpeted and 200 KM new roads would be constructed.

He told the house that a total of 75 projects would be completed during the year 2010-11.

He said that for the Physical Planning & Housing Sector, the government has allocated Rs. 387.7 million to raise infrastructure in Education, Health, Tourism, Fisheries, Agriculture and Forest sectors.

He told the House, that some 52 new buildings would be constructed and 15 KM pipelines to be laid down.

He said Women Development and Social Welfare sector would enjoy special attention of the government. He also enumerated other achievements and said during the next fiscal year, Rs. 698.350 million would be spent to initiate new projects after consultation with members.

Later, Speaker Wazir Baig adjourned the House to meet again on Friday for debate on the budget.

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