Punjab govt unveils over Rs2300 billion budget for FY 2019-20

Lahore: Punjab government has presented finance bill (provincial budget) for the FY 2019-20 with the total volume of 2.375 trillion. The provincial finance minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht presented the budget in Punjab Assembly in which Rs 1717 billion are earmarked for the development projects , while Rs 350 billion are allocated for the non development expenditures. A sum of Rs 1990 Bn has been estimated as the revenue of the province for the next fiscal year The finance minister said in his speech that Punjab government has kept three important priorities in view while preparing the budget including protection of rights of oppressed class of the society , development of human recourses and equalized regional progress. He said that it was not possible to eliminate severe financial crises in just eight months that prevailed from a decade. He said that budget will be reflection of PTI’s policy and the bright future of province. Following the federal government’s footsteps , the provincial government has also proposed 10 percent increase for the employees in Grade 1 to 16, while a five percent increase has been recommended for Grade 17-20, whereas no increase has been proposed for BPS- 21 and 22 officers. The amount allocated to all major sectors was bumped up this year as opposed to the prior year. A sum of Rs 0.3085 trillion has been allocated to health, Rs0.3829 trillion to education, Rs0.1136 trillion to agriculture, Rs0.1816 trillion to public safety and law and order, and Rs0.1493 trillion to public infrastructure. These represent respective hikes of 8.4 percent, 2.7 percent, 23.8 percent, 6.2 percent, and 6.2 percent. The Rs2.30-trillion financial budget was increased from Rs 2.027 trillion. Separately, instead of Rs0.238 trillion, the reviewed development budget , the Annual Development Programme (ADP)is Rs0.228 trillion. Punjab’s new budget also includes a proposal for completing mega projects under the public-private partnerships, while the finance department has declared the new budget tax-free and a surplus of Rs0.2 billion. It also increased the rate of pre-existing taxes and departments have been emphasised to reduce non-developmental expenditure, sources had added. Sources had further said an increase in the salary of government employees has been proposed along the same lines as federal employees. The provincial departments would be obligated to take permission for expenses including vehicles and furniture.

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