Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has presented a budget of Rs2.65 trillion with a surplus of Rs125 billion for the next financial year 2021-22 in the provincial assembly amid a strong protest by the opposition lawmakers.
The finance minister vowed that the provincial government has allocated Rs560 billion for development projects of the province.
The amount which the government fixed for development projects shows our priorities, he claimed.
As the budget speech started, the opposition lawmakers gathered near the chair of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. The lawmakers carrying placards started blowing whistles in an effort to create disturbance in the speech but all went in vain.
The PMLN lawmakers continued chanting slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan. The placards were inscribed with “Sugar Mafia Namanzoor Namanzoor”, “Kisan Dushman budget na manzoor na manzoor” and others.
The finance minister in his speech maintained that the provincial government expects a sum of Rs5,829 billion from the federal tax collection. In addition, a sum of Rs 1684 billion will be received from the federal divisible pool under the National Finance Commission.
He said that Rs205.5 billion has been allocated for the social sector like education and health in the development budget of the coming financial year. The said amount is 110% higher than the ongoing financial year.
The preparation for the Annual Development Programme in budget 2021-22 was made in the light of economic growth, social development and regional equalisation which is the manifesto of the PTI-led government.
He said the health sector is also the priority of this government. The government is fighting Covid-19 but at the same time brought reforms in the health sector to put it on the right track. The government has allocated Rs370 billion for the health sector in the coming financial year. The total budget of the development programme of the health sector is Rs96 billion which is 182% higher than the ongoing financial year.
This is the first time in the history that a separate development budget of south Punjab has been prepared. Earlier, the forged numbers had been used for this purpose but this is the PTI’s government that allocated Rs189 billion for south Punjab which is 34% of the ADP of Punjab.Agriculture sector
On the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and CM Buzdar, the government has included a comprehensive “Agriculture Transformation Plan” of Rs100 billion in the next fiscal year. The development budget of the agriculture has been proposed to increase to Rs31.5 billion from Rs7.7 billion.
For the best canal system, the government has allocated Rs55 billion while Rs31 billion has been proposed in the development budget with an increase of 82%.
An amount of Rs5 billion has been proposed for livestock and dairy development. For tree plantation, Rs4 billion has been proposed. An amount of Rs2.56 billion has been proposed for the 10 billion tree tsunami programme.
For minorities, the government had earmarked Rs2.50 billion funds.Salaries and pensions.
The government has decided a 10% increase in the salaries of government employees. Over 721,000 government employees (from Grades 1 to 19) who had never received additional allowances will be given 25% special allowance.
The minimum wage of a labourer is being increased to Rs20,000 from the current wage of Rs17,500.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ