Friday, 8 July 2016

More budget allocations are required to get 4% GPD target for education

LAHORE: In its ninth consecutive budget, the PML-N government in Punjab has again decreased budget allocations for education.
“In 2013-14, the Punjab education budget was 26 per cent of the total provincial budget whereas only 18.6 per cent of the total budget in 2016-17 has been allocated for education,” says a non-government organisation (NGO), Alif Ailaan, in its Punjab education budget analysis session organised at a local hotel on Monday.
The session was told the Punjab government for the current fiscal year had allocated Rs312bn, which was 18.6pc of the total budget allocation. The budget allocation decreased from 21.4pc from the last year when the education budget was Rs310bn, about 21pc of the total provincial budget that had already decreased from 24pc in 2014-15, the organisation said.
“The percentage share of education in Punjab’s overall budget has seen downfall from 26 per cent in 2013-14 to 18.6 per cent in 2016-17,” it said.
Last year, under the development budget for school education, the government had allocated R32.8bn.
“Out of which, as of April 2016, the government had only been able to spend Rs14bn, which is just over 42pc. This reveals that the budgetary allocations are not getting transferred into meaningful spending. Consequently, the education indicators continue to show little progress in the province.”
“Unless the department and the ministry share constituency wise data, including development allocations, the province will continue to see constituencies being preferred over the actual need,” said MPA Sadia Sohail, adding that political participation in budget-making process was lacking.
“We need to correct our behaviours and need a priority-based political will regarding education. We need same education system and syllabus for all people.”
The session was also attended by Population and Welfare Minister Zakia Shah Nawaz, MNA Rana Muhammad Afzal and MPAs Najma Afzal, Khola Amber, Aleem Shah, Fatima Fareeha and Tamkeen Niazi.
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2016

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