ISLAMABAD - The Federal as well as provincial governments failed to pay due attention to improve the masses lives, as spending on poverty alleviation programme has witnesses massive decline of over 18 percent during first quarter (July-September) of current fiscal year over a year ago.

The five governments (federal and provincials) have spent Rs 238.9 billion on poverty alleviation programme (Poverty Reduction Strategy Report) during July-September FY2014 against Rs 291.7 billion of the corresponding period last year, showing decline of over 18 percent, according to Finance Ministry’s figures.  Through Poverty Reduction Strategy Report (PRSR), government has extended the practice of tracking budgetary expenditures to include all anti-poverty public outlays, budgetary expenditures as well as non-budgetary social safety transfers. Through this exercise, the government seeks to improve the allocative efficiency of scarce public resources and redirect them to the poor. 

The Finance Ministry figures depict that government spending on education, health, law and order situation and social security and welfare considerably enhanced during the period under review over same period last year. However, spending on roads, highways and bridges, population planning and low cost housing has recorded decline over a year ago. 

The figures revealed that the governments have given much attention to the education sector of the country, as they spent Rs 103.5 billion on this sector, which is 43.32 percent of the overall allocation of PRSP spending. Out of this, major chunk Rs98.27 billion were current expenditures - mostly salaries and transportation. Only, Rs 5.233 billion were spent on developmental projects of education. The federal government has spent Rs 11.744 billion, Punjab, Rs 45.45billion, Sindh, Rs 21.68, billion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs 18.24 billion and Balochistan Rs 6.39 billion on education during July-September FY2014. The spending on improving law and order situation of the country followed the education sector in terms of maximum spending, as it costs Rs 50.98 billion to the national kitty.  The break-up of Rs 50.98 billion showed that Center has spent Rs 17.207 billion, Punjab, Rs 15.225 billion, Sindh Rs 9.6, billion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs 5.76 billion and Balochistan Rs 3.18 billion on law and order situation.

The health sector consumed Rs 30.23 billion wherein majority of the funds worth of Rs 28.117 billion were utilised on current expenditures - mostly salaries and transportation. Similarly, the five governments (federal as well as provincials) have spent Rs 25.036 billion on agricultural sector during first quarter of the current financial year 2013-14.

Meanwhile, the governments have spent on Rs 913 million on population planning, Rs 2.53 billion on natural calamities and other disasters, Rs 970 million on land reclamation, Rs 539 million on rural development, Rs 65 million on low cost housing, Rs 5.26 billion on justice administration and Rs 3.092 billion for subsidies during period under review.

However, interestingly, the governments failed to release single penny for People’s Works Programme I, People’s Works Programme II and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) during first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing fiscal year.