Punjab to increase development fund

Assembly secretariat notifies budget session for June 14


Aamir Naveed June 11, 2021

LAHORE:

Punjab's budget will be presented on June 14 with higher development outlay as compared to the current financial year.

According to sources, the provincial development budget for the next financial year will increase by Rs100 billion as compared to the current year. An allocation of Rs500 billion in the development budget for 2021-22 has reportedly been proposed.

The tax rates on nine services in the province are likely to be reduced.

Punjab Revenue Authority has set a tax target of Rs156 billion for the next financial year, the sources said. For the budget of the next financial year, the PRA presented proposals for greater tax relief to the people.

The Punjab Assembly Secretariat has issued the notification of the budget session scheduled for June 14.

A provincial cabinet meeting will be held before the budget session of the assembly. The budget will be approved in the cabinet meeting.

In the current financial year, the revised budget of Punjab government has been increased from Rs337 billion to Rs400 billion, while the development budget for the next financial year is proposed at Rs500 billion.

Read Punjab to offer incentives to agri sector

According to official documents, an allocation of Rs189 billion has been proposed for ongoing projects in the coming financial year.

Allocations of Rs147 billion for new projects and Rs109 billion for block allocation and other schemes have been proposed.

The documents show that Rs200 billion is likely to be set aside projects of the social sector, Rs119 billion for infrastructure development, Rs51 billion for production sector and Rs9.7 billion for services sector. Similarly, Rs65 billion will be allocated for special programmes, Rs25 billion for public-private partnership schemes, Rs34 billion for school education, Rs14.5 billion for higher education, Rs100 billion for health, Rs24 billion for water supply and sanitation and Rs19 billion for municipal bodies.

The proposals include allocation of Rs50 billion for roads, Rs24 billion for irrigation, Rs22 billion for urban development, Rs 26 billion for agriculture, Rs5 billion for environment protection, Rs2 billion for emergency and rescue services, Rs1 billion for tourism, Rs11 billion for industry and Rs25 billion for community development programmes.

The planning and development department has reportedly submitted the proposed budget figures to the Chief Minister's Office. The sources said a major tax relief has been proposed in the budget of Punjab for the 2021-22. The proposals include reducing the tax on eight services from 16% to 5%. Punjab Revenue Authority has set a tax collection target of Rs156 billion.

The provincial revenue authority is currently collecting taxes on 73 services.

The rate of tax on one sector is likely to be reduced from 19.5% to 16%.

The sources said the tax on beauty parlors, fashion and dress designers, stitching, warehouse services, laundry and dry cleaners may be reduced from 16% to 5%.

In view of incentives given by the federal government, Punjab also plans to provide tax relief to the construction and housing sector.

In this regard, the PRA has proposed reduction of the service tax rate on construction machinery and material, bulldozers and cranes rental services, architects and town planners from 16% to 5%.

The PRA is charging 19.5% service tax on call centres. It has reportedly been proposed that the rate be reduced to 16% in the budget for the next financial year.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11h, 2021.

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