Budget 2024-25: Power, Defence, and Election Expenses Exceed Allocations


ISLAMABAD: During the fiscal year 2023-24, at least 38 government departments exceeded their allocated budgets, necessitating additional funds through supplementary and technical grants, according to the Finance Division’s details of current expenditure.

Key Departments Exceeding Allocations:

Power Division: Spent Rs769.7 billion against an allocation of Rs450.5 billion, requiring an additional Rs319.1 billion.
Defence Services: Allocated Rs1.8 trillion, but expenditures reached Rs1.835 trillion, necessitating an extra Rs31.5 billion.
Defence Division: Required Rs20 billion against an allocated budget of Rs6 billion.
Election Expenses: Spent over Rs39 billion against an allocation of Rs7.7 billion, mainly due to the general elections and subsequent by-polls.
Other Notable Overspendings:

Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives: Required Rs13.9 billion more than the allocated Rs8 billion.
IT and Telecom Division: Needed an additional Rs10 billion, exceeding the allocated Rs9 billion.
Overall, government departments overspent by Rs454.1 billion, just under the Rs446 billion saved by other departments, resulting in a net overspend of around Rs8 billion.

Departments with Savings:

Finance Ministry: Saved Rs441 billion under “subsidies and miscellaneous expenditure”.
Benazir Income Support Programme: Saved around Rs450 billion from its Rs471 billion allocation.
Establishment Division: Saved Rs612 million out of its Rs8.2 billion budget.
Naya Pakistan Housing Authority: Saved almost Rs450 million, spending only Rs536 million of its Rs1 billion allocation.
Judiciary: Combined savings of around Rs0.5 billion from the Supreme Court, Islamabad High Court, and Islamabad district judiciary.
These savings were often redirected to other departments in need through technical supplementary grants approved by the ECC or the cabinet and eventually by parliament.

The finance ministry itself saved about Rs925 million from its Rs4.2 billion budget, and a significant portion of funds remained unutilized by several departments, contributing to the overall budget adjustments.

Story by Zakir Abbas

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