LAHORE: Continuing the old tradition of over-spending in non-development expenditures by around 21 percent, Finance Minister Ayesha Ghous Pasha on Friday also presented the supplementary budget of Rs168 billion for the concluding fiscal year of 2016-17 for the approval of Punjab Assembly.

The government had estimated the running expenditures of Rs0.9 trillion in its current fiscal year’s total budget outlay of Rs1.67 trillion which was increased by Rs168 billion. It is to be noted that the same finance minister had presented the supplementary budget of Rs154 in her last budget speech for the fiscal year of 2016-17.

Total current expenditure for next fiscal year is estimated at Rs1.021 trillion, indicating that next year running expenditures will also face a shortfall of at least Rs200 billion. According to budget documents, almost every department has shown over spending of around Rs1 billion, including police, education, health services, fisheries, museum, industries, veterinary, communication, housing and irrigation. It is unfortunate that almost all departments of the Punjab failed miserably to utilise their development funds fully.

During current fiscal year, most of the departments could utilise only 35-48 percent of their development budget and some sectors even did not touch their budget in this regard. However, in non-development head, almost all departments and sectors reported over spending in salaries, perks, allowances, TA/DA and maintenance and rents of their offices etc.