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June 13, 2019

Supplementary grants stand at Rs222.1billion in 2018-19

National

June 13, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The government has racked up Rs222.140 billion supplementary grants during the outgoing fiscal 2018/19, indicating that budgetary needs have not been properly assessed while preparing the budget estimates that is ultimately upsetting fiscal position of the country.

Supplementary budget requests are designed “to provide for expenditure for purposes that were not foreseen at the time of finalisation. In some cases, funds request are fulfilled through ‘reappropriation’ in which funds are taken away from one head and given to another.

Now, in a few days, the government would be asking Parliament to rubber-stamp these huge additional expenditure, which were not earmarked in the budget estimates. Interestingly, this year’s volume of supplementary grants was 62.94 percent less than what was recorded in financial year 2017/18 at Rs599.4 billion.

A major portion of the supplementary grants was Rs116.03 billion of technical nature for re-appropriation including shifting funds from one head to another. Besides, Rs106.09 billion regular supplementary grants (expenditure overruns) having additional burden on the budget were also booked.

The budget documents say that the regular supplementary grants were meant “to provide for expenditure for purposes that were not foreseen at the time of finalisation of demands for grants. Such supplementary grants put additional burden on the budget”.

Ex-finance minister Asad Umar in April this year in a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had assured that the government would gradually wean various ministries and departments off supplementary grants through effective budgeting for their financial needs to ease budget deficit pressure.

A supplementary grant for defence services was recorded at Rs36.62 billion for the current fiscal 2018/19. This include Rs20 billion for fencing and lighting of Pak-Afghan border, on internal security duty allowance to Pakistan Army and Air Force Rs5 billion were spent. Recurring cost of the special security division (SSD) for Pakistan Army was Rs5.887 billion another Rs4.3 billion were consumed for meeting shortfall of POL for Air Force. Half a billion rupees were spent for construction of community bunkers along Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary, while another half a billion consumed for Junior Naval Academy Ormara for current fiscal.

For civil armed forces, in KP and Balochistan, billions of rupees more have been spent to meet the security requirements and safeguard the public. This include Rs2.69 billion for Frontier Corps Balochistan (South) Turbat, Rs1.63 billion (north) Quetta, Rs2.29 billion for Frontier Corps KP Peshawar and another Rs2.226 billion for D I Khan (South).

For Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Rs2.22 billion for raising of five new wings, another Rs227.6 million for 56 operational vehicles for Punjab ranger in Lahore. For Prime Minister’s global SDGs achievement programme Rs24 billion supplementary grant has been generated.

For supply of gas/RLNG to industrial sector huge Rs25.75 billion supplementary grant has been piled up in year 2018/19. An amount of Rs4.7 billion paid to SNGPL for payment of price differential as subsidy. Under power division, for Karkey litigation, Rs190.31 million has been spent as supplementary grant.

Under Fata ten-year plan (federal contribution) of Rs10 billion and another payment of Rs5.57 billion was made for permanent reconstruction of temporary displaced persons (TDPs) in merged areas districts. For housing subsidy under citizen losses compensation Program (CLCP) in merged areas Rs11.43 billion and another Rs428.9 million in Fata. For Haj subsidy during 2018/19, Rs1.75 billion supplementary grant has been generated. Rs20.1 billion supplementary grant for conducting General Elections.

Another Rs12.18 billion have also been booked for re-organisation of capital Administration and Development Division (CAAD). Around Rs1.326 billion would be sought for Pakistan’s contribution towards Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Another Rs200 million demand for supplementary grant generated for 50pc share of federal government to government of Balochistan for rehabilitation of armed militants under “Puraman Baluchistan Policy”. Another payment of Rs110 million was paid counsel fee in case of Dr Hilal Hussain Al-tuwairi and Al-Iteefaq Steel Products Company limited V/s Islamic republic of Pakistan.

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