QUETTA - Rs 71.1914 billion Balochistan budget for the financial year 2008-09 was presented in Balochistan Assembly on Saturday. A deficit of Rs 8.80 billion has been shown in the budget. No new tax has been levied in the budget while opportunities of 2425 new vacancies have been created in the budget despite a deficit of Rs 8.80 billion for the current fiscal year. The budget includes the development programme of Rs 15.745320 billion, current expenditure of Rs 47.521726 billion and capital expenditure of Rs 7.924 billion. Total estimated receipts of province are Rs 62.385267 billion including Rs 3.476581 billion Provincial Own Receipts, Rs 48.050168 billions as federal transfers, Rs 6.228 billion as capital receipt and Rs 4.630706 billion as foreign project assistance. Consolidated estimates on development and non-development sides are Rs 71.191428 billion. The deficit is 8.806161 billion. The Prime Minister has promised to provide Rs 3 billion out his discretionary fund after which the deficit will reduce Rs 5.86 billion. The remaining deficit shall be met by enhancing resources of province besides controlling provincial expenditure and by acquiring financial help from the Federal government. Presenting the budget provincial finance minister assured the House that during the next financial year the government would reduce its non-development expenditures to a great extent and in this regard it would take different measures including a complete ban on the purchase of vehicles, machinery and other durable items. However, under special circumstances and on the subject to the recommendations of the finance department, the ban might be relaxed with the approval of the Chief Minister. He said that due to increase in the petroleum products the government would take measure to control consumption of POL and departments would not be allowed to re-appropriate expenditure out of the head of salaries to other heads. He said possible austerity would be adopted in all official functions. The Finance Minister said ban would be imposed on attending seminar in foreign countries, however, permission would be accorded to attend seminar/training courses which would be financed by the federal government or out of foreign assistance. He said there would be complete ban on all official meetings to be held at hotels. He said the provincial government would also take various measures for the welfare of the employees including 20 percent increase in basic pay of all provincial government employees and 20 percent increase in net pension for all pensioners. He said that full payment of salaries would be made to the heirs of employees belonging to the Police, Levies and Jail who lay down their lives during performance of official duties. He said during the coming financial year all employees in BPS-1 to BPS-4 would be given one higher grade and during the next financial year employees of the Secretariat in BPS-16 to BPS-21 would receive an additional amount of Rs 400 per month in their utility allowance. This increase of Rs 400 per month has already been made in the said allowance in case of BPS-15 and below employees of the Secretariat. Likewise, substantial increase in the Chief Minister's Secretariat allowance and Governor's Secretariat allowance has been made in case of employees of the Governor's and Chief Minister's Secretariat. Referring to development activities of the government, he said that in agriculture sector various development projects had been launched in the province. A project entitled "Infrastructure Development and Strengthening of Educational/Research Facilities in Balochistan Agriculture College Baleli was underway at a total of Rs 66.988 million. So far about 500 students had graduated in various disciplines of agriculture from the said college and it has also started postgraduate class from November 2007. Various development projects amounting to Rs 649.809 million were under way in Agriculture Research. Similarly development projects at a total cost of Rs 382.610 million were under execution in Agriculture Extension. The government with the help of the Agricultural Engineering Department was annually converting about 1500 hectares cultivable wasteland into cultivated area. For this purpose substantial amount of subsidy was also being provided to the farmers. During the coming financial year, the Department has been given a target of 330,000 bulldozers hours which would bring about 19748 hectares of land under cultivation. In Balochistan, ongoing mega projects such as Mirani Dam, Subakzai Dam, Kacchi Canal, Extension of Pat Feeder Canal, Kirther Canal, Recharge of Ground Water, Bolan Dam at Kacchi, Reconstruction of Shadi Kaur Dam, Nawa Batozai Storage Dam Killa Saifullah, construction of ten Delay Action Dams and Rehabilitation of Nari Canal at an estimated cost of Rs 51360 millions were also underway. These projects shall bring about a "Green Revolution" in the agriculture development of Balochistan and shall bring in a new era of prosperity for the underdeveloped people of Balochistan. In addition to this, the government was also considering a programme to allot land to the landless farmers on lease. The government was providing subsidy of about Rs 2.00 billion on tube wells. Due to the adverse effects of drought the government was planning to continue this subsidy for the next financial year. He said the Balochistan government needed sufficient quantity of wheat to meet people's requirements. For this purpose it had to bring about 400,000 metric tones of wheat from outside the province while about 20,000 tones were procured within the province. A subsidy of Rs 3744.85 per metric tone was given on wheat by the government. An amount of Rs 500 million has been earmarked for the coming financial year for subsidy. Referring to development schemes of water sector, he said that under this sector rehabilitation work on 103 old and new water supply schemes were completed during the current financial year and added that mega projects including "Provision of Clean Drinking Water For ALL" and "Kacchi Plain Water Supply" would be completed during the financial year 2008-09. He said after completion of Kacchi plain water supply project the long outstanding problem of supply of water to Bagh, Bakhtariabad,Chalghari and other adjacent areas would be solved. He said under the Project "Provision of Clean Drinking Water For All" one "Filtration Plant" in each union council would be installed. The minister said previously flood had disrupted the existing water supply systems in different districts besides badly affecting 413 Water Supply Schemes. Out of these 374 affected schemes have been rehabilitated. An estimated rehabilitation cost for these schemes was Rs 14 corers. The government provided Rs 6 corers during the current financial year and Rs 8 corers would be provided during the next financial year. Moreover, under DERA-II in al districts of the Province Drinking Water Schemes shall be launched. He said the health department with the assistance of about 3000 doctors, 2900 nurses and paramedics was running about 1400 hospitals i.e Rural Health Centres, Basic Health Units, Civil dispensaries and other such health units/centres which were spread all over the province and looking after the health of people. He said that education was included in the top priorities of the fovernment. In order to provide opportunities for good education, the provincial government was establishing educational Institution in different areas. For this purpose, ten Cadet Colleges were being set up. Five Cadet Colleges were already under construction and five more have been approved and work would be started as soon as funds were provided by the federal government. Facilities for provision of technical education were being made and for this purpose polytechnic institutes in eight cities of Balochistan which include Turbat, Gwadar, Khanozai, Muslim Bagh, Uthal, Loralai, Khuzdar and Sibi will be established. Out of these institutes, three have been earmarked for female students. One residential college each at Uthal and Zhob would be established. He said Balochistan occupies unique position for having natural grazing grounds and for domestication of animals. For the last many years the severe drought has not only badly affected natural grazing grounds but also affected productivity of all the animals. The provincial government in order to provide protection to the animals against infections and non-infectious diseases and to enhance productive capacity of the animals was making strenuous efforts so that deficiency for animal protein's requirements such as meat, eggs and milk may be made up. In order to achieve these objectives, 115 veterinary hospital, 778 dispensaries and 64 artificial insemination centres, 15 dairy farms, 18 poultry farms, three centres for production of beef/Mutton and one centre for production of good quality wool are working. Referring electricity sector he said, the federal government will undertake following development works including 700 villages will be electrified. Grid Stations of 132 KV will be constructed in Basima, Darwaza and Haramzai, work on 220 KV Dadu and Khuzdar Transmission Lines will be started, Work on 220 KV on Dera Ghazi Khan and Loralai will be started, 300 villages will be electrified with the help of solar energy, work on 1000 megawatt from Iran through Polan 220 KV transmission line will be started, works 132 KV Grid Stations along with transmission lines will be started from Kashmor to Sui and Dera Bugti. He said that for the protection of forests and their development about 20 lacs plants would be planted. At this moment for development of forests and wildlife, schemes amounting to Rs 338.47 millions were under execution. He said that road sector has been given top priority in the development budget and black topping of 1200 kilometers length of roads will be done during the coming financial year. Besides this numerous projects in building and road sectors will be completed. He said that Balochistan had a very bright future in terms of its minerals. In Mineral Sector the revenues of the province had increased from 100 million to 500 million. Rikodiq project in Chaghi district had the seven largest deposits of gold and copper in the world. This Project shall provide opportunities of employment to thousands of local people of the area and the province expects to receive revenue to the tune of Rs. 15 billion to Rs 20 billion. At the moment Balochistan province was the largest producer of coal in Pakistan. Annual production of coal production from Chamalang occupies a significant position. With the efforts of this province this project had taken off. During the coming financial year the World Bank will invest 40 million to 45 million dollars for exploration of mineral in Balochistan. In addition to the above activities Gadani Marble city will be established. Pakistan Steels, which used to import raw materials, has now started to procure coal and iron ore from Balochistan for its production. Referring to Gwadar Port he said that due it not only province of Balochistan but also Pakistan will emerge as an important gateway of trade for the entire Central Asia. Keeping in view the importance of this harbour numerous development programmes have been launched which in particular include work on the service lanes/right of way of 129 km long roads. 90 km have been completed with an estimated cost of Rs 2446.5 million. 530 km Coastal highway (Liari Gwadar portion) was completed by the NHA and Gwadar Ratodaro Motorway was also in progress. First phase of a 350 bedded hospital was in final stage of construction with a cost of Rs 52.446 million. Pakistan's largest Sports complex at an area of 300 acres was under construction in Gwadar. Gwadar Industrial Estate by the provincial government has been developed on an area of 3000 acres of land. Another 1000 acres of land has been provided by the provincial government to the federal government for the establishment of an Export Processing Zone. The Gwadar Port Authority with collaboration of Port Singapore Authority International has planed to develop a free Trade Zone on an area of 2000 acres.