Budget is a little technical thing. Media usually is unable to understand it, and hence misguides the public. Even the bureaucrats, who give nods to the financial decisions, don’t get it. They have to be taught every time. Every single time.
And as soon as they get any ‘out-of-the-box’ question, the subordinates are fucked.
Will tell you a not-joke after the lecture.
The working class in the government sector is actually pathetic. 99% of the people are idiots. After cramming MCQ books and using contacts, they get the jobs. See the fall of PIA with one of the highest employee to aircraft ratio.
Same goes for NAB, FIA, etc. All these analysts and researchers working in NAB / FIA are unable to come with proofs against these political criminals. Why? Because they themselves are clueless. They don’t know how to see a book.
They don’t get the numbers.
Result: embarrassment in courts when NAB / FIA are unable to file references even after months.
Understanding monetary / budget games requires digging. Consistent digging. There are hundreds of projects in public sector which were allocated more funds than their approved costs (crossing the permissible sanctions), and even then the investigative organizations are unable to make a case.
Khair. Back to budget.
Budget is divided into two parts. Development and Non-Development.
Non-Development is the usual non-technical shit; like salary and non-salary expenditures. You can call it regular budget too.
Development budget is about PSDP (federal level) or ADP (provincial level) development schemes which pass through different forums and feasibility steps before seeing the approval day. After which starts the release of funds and execution of the schemes. Establishment (schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, parks, etc.) of all government infrastructure falls under development.
Sahiwal power plant was a non-feasible power project by PML-N. Like Nandi Pur. Billions dusted.
Peshawar BRT is a tangible picture of PTI’s vision.
IPPs by PPP is a never ending curse on Pakistan’s financial instability.
Development budget is further divided into ‘Capital’ (which is related to civil work / brick and mortar) and ‘Revenue’ (equipment / items). PAS / DMG officers spend almost their entire lives dealing with these projects from tehsil level (being Assistant Commissioners) to provincial level (being Secretaries of different departments).
Above paragraph was the pre-requisite for that not-joke.
Once upon a time, a PAS / DMG officer of Grade-21 was being briefed about the development projects. He was unable to get anything. Even the difference between ‘capital’ and ‘revenue’. In the end, his subordinate briefed like that, “Sir yeh jo eento or bajri se banta hai na, wo ‘capital’ hota hai. Or jo kamre ke andar samaan para hota hai na, wo ‘revneue’ hota hai.”
Now that was a Grade-21 guy. Imagine what he had been doing being AC, DC, Commissioner, etc. No wonder we are where we are.
Anyway, wherever we are, here we are. With PTI’s 2nd provincial budget in Punjab, a little digging can help where we are leading. First, take the pandemic as constant. And let’s take only 1 example. Most relevant one. HEALTH:
In FY 2019-20, development budget of Health was Rs.45.500 billion.
For FY 2020-21, development budget of Health is Rs.33.612 billion.
This is a budget cut of Rs.11.888 billion in health sector. Remember: Covid-19. Pandemic. And all the media campaign of the government regarding their focus. No lockdown. Ok, fine. Not fine though. But this is nothing more than cruel intentions.
End of lecture for today. Save this one. It can be a source of less humiliation for you, if you are unlucky to become a bureaucrat. Someday. Somehow.
P.S. a couple of things:
1. A celebrity committed suicide 2 days back. Got a twitter trend. A sister of two missing brothers from Balochistan committed suicide 2 days back too. Nothing happened.
2. In the previous post, not a single figure was wrong. I sit corrected.
3. If you claim that a ‘number / fact’ was wrong, at least try to provide the correct ‘number’.
4. A couple of days back, a lady called me ‘bastard’. I don’t mind that. But I do mind when you copy-paste my posts lady!