Low budget utilisation

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AS the governmental authorities have all along been complaining about lack of resources, audit officials told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that due to ill-planning of the Finance Ministry, funds of Rs. 411 billion were not utilized during the year 2018 and on the other hand supplementary budget of billions of rupees was also granted in the same year.
Effective and efficient budget management is cornerstone of an efficient governance and economic growth and stability. In the modern-day environment budget preparation has become a year-round exercise, therefore, it should be a product of minute and precise planning but regrettably this is not the case as has been highlighted during PAC meeting that a hefty amount of Rs. 411 billion remained un-utilized at a time when the authorities were talking about shortage of funds. Based on this premise, we have witnessed very nominal expenditure on developmental activities during the last two years with implications for economic growth and employment opportunities. This has not happened for the first time as in the past as well most of the ministries and departments did not utilize their budgets. This becomes particularly worrisome when negligence is shown towards utilization of funds meant for development projects, funds for which are lapsed and delayed implementation also leads to substantial increase in their cost. It has also been observed that ministries and departments sit over funds during whole year and spend them whimsically during June. The situation can improve if there is proper planning behind budget of every ministry and organization and their heads are made accountable for efficient utilization of the funds.