LAHORE - Continuing the old tradition of over-spending in non-development expenditures by around 18 percent, provincial finance minister D. Ayesha Ghous Pasha on Monday also presented the supplementary budget of Rs150 billion for the concluding fiscal year of 2015-16 for the approval of Punjab Assembly.

The government had estimated the running expenditures of Rs800 billion in its current fiscal year’s total budget outlay of Rs1.45 trillion which was increased by Rs150 billion. It is to be noted that the same finance minister had presented the supplementary budget of Rs150 in her last budget speech for the fiscal year of 2014-15.

During the next financial year, the government’s total running expenditures estimates are calculated at Rs849.94 billion, indicating that next year running expenditures will also face a shortfall of at least Rs150-160 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 utilize their development funds fully.

During current fiscal year, most of the departments could utilize only 40-50 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.