LAHORE: The Punjab government has approved a development budget of Rs685 billion for the upcoming fiscal year 2022-23 for different sectors.
According to the sources, the highest development budget has been allocated for the health sector as a total of Rs174.9 billion have been allocated for the Universal Health Insurance Program while Rs1.8 billion have been allocated for the revamping of THQs.
Similarly, a total of Rs1.6 billion for Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn & Child Health, Rs1.6 billion for establishment of Nursing In-Teritary Care Hospitals, Rs1.3 billion for the revamping of DHQs and Rs1.16 billion has been allocated for the Population Welfare House, SCM and Advocacy.
It is pertinent to mention here that the development budget of health for the FY 2021-22 was Rs115.86 billion and for FY 2020-21 was Rs55.16 billion.
However, development funds of Rs56.2 billion have been allocated in the education sector of which Rs4.8 billion for afternoon school program, Rs2.5 billion for establishment of universities in five major cities of Punjab, Rs1.6 billion for Punjab non-formal education, Rs1 billion for retrofitting of partially dangerous school buildings, Rs0.5 billion for construction of shelter-less schools in Punjab, Rs0.4 billion for establishment of 04 special education centers, Rs0.5 billion for provision of missing facilities in schools and Rs0.1 billion for construction of additional classrooms have been allocated.
However, for the coming FY 2022-23, the Punjab government is spending a little more on the education development budget than last year as during the last FY 2021-22, the development budget of the education sector was Rs54.3 billion, which has been increased by only Rs2 billion this year.
Moreover, the development budget of Urban Development, Water Supply & Climate Change has been reduced to Rs74.3 billion in the coming FY 2022-23 from Rs108.5 billion in the FY 2021-22.
Similarly, the development budget for energy, environment and climate change has also been reduced to Rs10 billion as compared to the FY 2021-22. The development budget of Punjab Emergency Service has been significantly increased this financial year and Rs1,800 million has been allocated which was Rs1,100 million FY 2021-22 whereas in this budget, new vehicles and motorcycles will be procured for the emergency service while five new emergency services will also be set up.
The Punjab government will spend a huge amount on development of gender empowerment in the coming FY. However, Rs900 million has been allocated for gender development whereas last fiscal the development budget of this sector was Rs500 million.
The Punjab government has not made any significant changes in the development budget for the industries, investment, commerce and skills development sectors as the development budget of the said sector has been set at Rs12.5 billion for the FY 2022-23 which was Rs12.2 in FY 2021-22.