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Federal Budget 2007-08 revealed that an amount of Rs 198.4 million has been allocated for creating new jobs under the Public Sector Development programme. Moreover, the budget figures showed that 3.1 million people remained unemployed during 2006-2007 and unemployment rate remained 6.2 percent, which showed that the government failed to provide jobs to the people.

Budget stated that some of the ongoing employment generating sectors that will continue in fiscal 2007-08 are ''Training of Trainers for Skill Development" with budgetary allocation of Rs 12.3 million, Rs 9.1 million for Labour Market and Analysis System Rs 14 million for Policy Planning Cell and Rs 25.3 million was allocated for ''Computerisation of Outgoing Emigrants and Returning Migrants project."

Budget showed that during fiscal years 2007-08 unemployed labour force rate will be 3.18 percent. Current estimated population is 162 million and estimated labour force is 52.16 million, and employed labour force will be only 48.93 million.

An amount of Rs 414.8 million has been earmarked under the PSDP 2007-08 for the Ministry of Social Welfare which shows an increase of Rs 93.4 million that is 29 percent over the revised allocation of Rs 321 million in the last financial year.

The physical targets to be achieved by the implementation of 79 ongoing schemes of Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education are related to construction, establishment, up-gradation of special education centres, community development projects and other social service projects.

An allocation of Rs 4.3 billion including a foreign loan of Rs 204.2 million has been earmarked for the population, in public sector 2007-08. There is an increase of Rs 1.3 billion over the actual expenditure of Rs 3.0 billion in the last financial year 2005-06.

The population growth rate has been brought down to about 1.86 percent per annum but the total fertility rate at 3.13 per women (2007) reported by the Ministry of Population Welfare is still above the desired level, the budget stated.

An amount of Rs 163.1 million under PSDP 2007-08 has been allocated for 12 on-going and new projects. Some of the major projects are Gender Reform Action Plan (GRAP), which includes inter-alia a national and four provincial plans, establishment of crisis centres in various Districts of the country, National Fund for Advancement of Rural Women, Jafakash Aurat and Pilot Project for District Resource Centres for Women in Local Government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2007

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