LAHORE: A tax-free people-friendly Punjab Budget for next fiscal year with a total outlay of over 1970 billion rupees was presented in provincial assembly in Lahore on Friday afternoon.
In her budget speech, Provincial Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said despite challenges, a balanced budget has been presented.
She said a huge amount of six hundred and thirty five billion rupees have been proposed for the next fiscal year’s Annual Development Program.
Finance Minister said due to government’s successful economic measures, international financial institutions are now terming Pakistan as an emerging economy.
She said that under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) various power generation and infrastructure projects are being completed speedily.
She said that all development projects including CPEC projects are the hallmarks of transparency and high speed completion.
Dr. Ayesha said there is a twenty nine point five percent raise in the Punjab’s development budget for next year.
She said that the next year’s Provincial Budget include current expenditures worth one thousand twenty point eight billions of current expenditures.
She said that twenty one percent of the budget has been reserved for the education sector with the total allocations of three hundred forty five point four billion rupees.
She said that a huge amount of two hundred thirty point one billion rupees has been allocated for the District Education Authorities.
Punjab Finance Minister said that there will be ten percent raise in the salaries and pensions of Punjab Government employees in next fiscal year, while the minimum monthly wages of laborers and industrial workers will be now fifteen thousand rupees.
She said that fifty nine percent of total budget has been allocated for education, health, agriculture, law and order and local governments, for which a huge amount of one thousand seventeen billion rupees is being allocated.
Finance Minister said that there is an estimate of fifteen hundred two billion rupees in the General Revenues. She said that Punjab is expecting an income of eleven hundred fifty four billion rupees from Federal Government. She said that there is an estimate of Provincial Revenue worth three hundred forty eight billion rupees.
Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said a huge amount of three hundred sixty one billion rupees has been allocated for local governments, while two hundred twenty eight billion rupees for the service delivery expenditures.
She said that thirty two percent of development budget is being fixed for the social sector.
She said that the forty four percent of divisible revenues under the PFC Award, have been allocated for the local governments.
Punjab Finance Minister said that six point five billion rupees are being allocated for the Zewar-e-Taalim Program.
She said that decision has been made to provide three point five billion rupees for provision of free text books at government schools. She said that an amount of six point five billion rupees has been proposed for Khadim e Punjab School Program, while four billion rupees for the restoration of twelve hundred school buildings.
She said that an amount of two billion rupees has been proposed for provision of necessary facilities at schools. She said that the hundred percent infrastructure needs of government schools will be fulfilled.
The Finance Minister said that under the Khadim e Punjab Ujaala Program, ten thousand shcools will be converted to solar energy.
She said that a decision has been made to setup the Education Initiative Management Authority in Punjab, for which seven billion rupees have been allocated.
She said five billion rupees have been allocated for the Punjab Education Endowment Fund, which would benefit three hundred fifty thousand students will get benefited.
She said that a huge amount of forty four billion rupees has been allocated for the higher education sector. Fifty new degree colleges, teachers academy and three new universities will be setup.—Radio Pakistan