ISLAMABAD  -    The four provincial governments recorded budget surplus of Rs291.6 billion during nine months (July to March) of the ongoing fiscal year that helped in restricting the country’s budget deficit at Rs1.9 trillion.

The expenditures of four provinces had remained at Rs1.91 trillion as compared to the revenues of Rs2.2 trillion, making the surplus of Rs291.6 billion in nine months. The provincial surplus budgets had helped in restricting the country’s budget deficit at Rs1.9 trillion. Otherwise, the budget deficit would have further widened if provinces had not recorded surplus budgets. The government had budgeted provinces to give budget surplus of Rs285.6 billion during entire current fiscal year.

According to the figures of ministry of finance, apart from Sindh, other three provinces had failed to enhance their tax collection during nine months of the year 2018-19. The tax collection of four provinces was recorded at Rs290.4b during July to March of the ongoing fiscal year as against Rs280b of the corresponding period of previous year, showing growth of only 3.7pc. The increase in percentage in provincial tax collection is due to 6.2 percent growth in tax collection of Sindh province. Growth in tax collection in other three provinces is negligible.

The provinces had heavily depended on the funds received from federal govt under divisible pool. The federal govt had transferred Rs1779b to the provinces under NFC award during July to March of the ongoing financial year, which helped the provinces in generating surplus budget. Under the 7th NFC award, the federal govt is bound to transfer 57.5pc of the resources to the four provinces. The provincial govts get shares from the federal government under NFC award as per the said formula. Punjab gets 51.74 percent, Sindh 24.55 percent, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 14.62pc and Balochistan 9.09 percent.

Punjab

Punjab province had recorded budget surplus of Rs157.3 billion during July to March period of the ongoing fiscal year. The expenditures registered at Rs889.1 billion as compared to the revenues of Rs1046.4 billion. However, the major chunk of the revenues came from the federal government under divisible pool. The Punjab government had received Rs866.6 billion from the federal government during first nine months of the current fiscal year, which is 67.6 percent of the annual share of Rs1282 billion. Meanwhile, the province had generated only Rs141.1 billion from its own sources.

Sindh

The province had shown budget surplus of Rs52.4 billion in nine months period, as it expenditures recorded at Rs545.7 billion compared to the revenues of Rs598.1 billion. Sindh government has received Rs441.9 billion from the federal government during July to March period of the year 2018-19. The Sindh would receive Rs648.8 billion during entire current fiscal year. The Sindh government collected Rs126.7 billion during July-March period of the year 2018-19.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

The KP’s budget surplus had recorded at Rs38.8 billion. Expenditures of this province had registered at Rs316.8 billion as compared to the revenues of Rs355.6 billion. The KPK’s tax collection has also enhanced marginally to Rs13.4 billion in first nine months of the ongoing financial year from Rs12.95 billion of the same period of last year. The province has received Rs290.4 billion from the federal government under NFC during first nine months of the current fiscal year.

Balochistan

This province had also recorded budget surplus of Rs43.7 billion. Balochistan expenditures had remained at Rs154.5 billion as compared to the revenues of Rs180.3 billion. Balochistan’s tax collection has slightly decreased to Rs6.49 billion during July-March period of the year 2018-19 from Rs6.54 billion of the corresponding period of the previous year. The province has received Rs180.3 billion in first nine months from the federal government, which is 77.3 percent of Rs233.2 billion to be released in the ongoing financial year under NFC.