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Government Departments Exceed Fiscal Allocations by Rs454.1 Billion in FY2023-24

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According to released details from the Finance Division, at least 38 government departments surpassed their allocated budgets during the fiscal year 2023-24. These departments received extra funds through supplementary and technical grants.

The Power Division emerged as the largest spender, utilizing Rs769.7 billion against an allocation of approximately Rs450.5 billion. This resulted in an additional fund requirement of around Rs319.1 billion to cover its expenses for the fiscal year.

Similarly, the defence sector also overspent, with the government allocating Rs1.8 trillion, but the actual expenditure ballooned to Rs1.835 trillion. This overspending of approximately Rs31.5 billion was evident across various heads within the Defence Services, such as “operating expenses,” “physical assets,” and “civil works.” Additionally, the Defence Division sought an injection of Rs20 billion under the ‘transfers’ category against its allocated budget of Rs6 billion.

The election-related expenses were substantial, given that FY24 was an election year. The allocation for Elections was Rs7.7 billion, yet the overall expenditure exceeded Rs39 billion due to the general elections and subsequent by-polls.

On the other hand, the Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives required Rs13.9 billion more than its yearly allocation, mainly due to increased spending on “grants, subsidies, and write-off loans.”

In total, the overspending by government departments amounted to approximately Rs454.1 billion. Conversely, around three dozen departments and divisions reported combined ‘savings’ of Rs446 billion. This indicated that the government surpassed its expenses by around Rs8 billion.

Money saved from underspending is typically reallocated to other departments or heads facing a shortage of funds through technical supplementary grants approved by the ECC or the cabinet. This reallocation will eventually be approved by parliament as a supplementary demand for grants.

Notably, over two dozen federal government departments were able to stay within their allocated budgets. For instance, the finance ministry managed to save a significant amount against its allocation, while the Benazir Income Support Programme reduced its expenses under the ’employee-related expenditures’ category, resulting in a substantial chunk of unutilized funds.

Similarly, the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority and the judiciary also contributed to the overall savings by underspending against their respective allocations.

In conclusion, the detailed expenditure report for the fiscal year 2023-24 sheds light on overspending and savings across various government departments, highlighting the need for effective fiscal management and resource allocation.

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