Financial crunch as Punjab gets only half of NFC share from Centre
It is not just the coronavirus pandemic which Punjab has to deal as it is also facing a severe financial crunch with the budget deficit soaring to the historic level of Rs6.64 trillion, 24NewsHD TV channel reported.
The question is: why things reached this stage? The answer is simple, as the province did not get the complete share of Rs10 trillion from the Centre under the NFC (National Finance Commission) Award.
Meanwhile, the provincial government also failed to meet the revenue collection target.
In this situation, the finance department has shared the deficit-related figures with the provincial government.
Although Punjab was supposed to get Rs10 trillion as its share, the actual amount that it has received is just Rs5.38 trillion.
On the other hand, the situation on the front of revenue collection is also dismal with the province generating Rs1.26 trillion only against a target of Rs3.50 trillion.
Earlier in the day, 24NewsHD reported that the teaching hospitals in Punjab were facing a severe shortage of medicines after the government slashed the budget allocated for purpose by half in the fourth quarter.
This development is worrisome given the fact that the PTI had come into power with the slogans of making health and education a top priority while bashing the Metro, motorways and other infrastructure projects as wastage of resources.
A total of Rs23 billion were reserved under the head for the teaching hospitals which was already Rs4 billion less than the previous financial year. And now these institutions have received the quarterly budget with an Rs3 billion cut.
It is worth noting that the PTI government has already stopped provision of free medicines to cancer, cardiac and other patients at the state-run hospitals.