Rs5,446b tax-free surplus budget

Rs842 billion allocated for development expenditure; surplus projected at Rs630 billion

Rana Yasif June 14, 2024


The PML-N-led government on Thursday unveiled a surplus budget for Punjab for the upcoming fiscal year 2024-25, with a total outlay of Rs5,446 billion.

The budget allocates Rs842 billion for development expenditure and anticipates a surplus of Rs630 billion.

While the government described it as its “first tax-free budget”, the opposition labeled it as “anti-public budget,” arguing that it offered nothing new except lofty promises without substantial benefits for the people.

The PPP boycotted the budget, instructing its majority MPAs to stay out of the House during the budget presentation. Only two MPAs were present in the House, while the rest did not attend the session.

The budget was presented amid a strong protest from opposition lawmakers, who not only created a pandemonium and chanted slogans but also tore up budget copies. Both treasury and opposition lawmakers appeared to push each other, seemingly sending a message to confine movements to their respective benches.

The session was presided over by Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, while Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz was also present in the House. During the budget speech, Maryam appeared to address specific concerns raised by the MPAs.

The estimated total revenue stands at Rs4,643 billion. Under the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, Punjab will receive Rs3,683 billion from the Federal Divisible Pool.

Provincial revenues are projected to reach Rs960 billion, marking a 54 per cent increase from last year. Specifically, the Punjab Revenue Authority is expected to contribute Rs300 billion, up by 25 per cent. The Board of Revenue is anticipated to generate Rs105 billion, reflecting a 6 per cent increase, while the Excise Department is forecasted to collect Rs57 billion, showing a 25 per cent rise.

As Provincial Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman began his budget speech, opposition lawmakers initially stood up and chanted slogans against the budget. They then attempted to move towards the speaker’s dais but eventually
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confined themselves to their seats. On several occasions, lawmakers from both the sides appeared to push each other when there were instances of crossing the boundary of their benches.

The finance minister stated that the Punjab government expects income of over Rs3,683 billion through the federal divisible pool under the NFC award.

Additionally, based on provincial tax revenue projections, the government anticipates earning over Rs960 billion, reflecting a 54 per cent increase from the previous year. This includes Rs300 billion from the Punjab Revenue Authority, marking a 25 per cent increase, Rs105 billion from the Board of Revenue, showing a 6 per cent increase, and Rs57 billion from the Excise Department, which is also expected to increase by 25 per cent.

The government expects to generate over Rs488 billion from Non-Tax Revenue, reflecting a 111 per cent rise. In the current fiscal year, the government has allocated over Rs603 billion for salaries, more than Rs451 billion for pensions, and over Rs857 billion for local governments.

The finance minister expressed pride in announcing the Rs842 billion development programme for the current fiscal year, which not only surpasses previous development programmes but also underscores PML-N’s significant priorities. This budget marks a 28 per cent increase over the Rs655 billion development budget of the current fiscal year.

The minister further specified that 33 per cent of the total development budget is allocated for the social sector, 29 per cent for infrastructure, 13 per cent for the production sector, 5 per cent for services sector, and 20 per cent for other programmes, including special initiatives.


The government has allocated over Rs669 billion for education, marking a 13 per cent increase from the current fiscal year. Of this total, more than Rs604 billion has been fixed for non-development expenditures while over Rs65 billion for development expenditures in the education sector.

The government has allocated more than Rs42 billion for development projects in the school education sector. This funding will be used to restore dilapidated buildings, undertake work on flood-affected schools, and ensure the prompt provision of basic facilities. Additionally, the government plans to introduce the ‘Public Schools Reorganization Programme’ aimed at enhancing the standard of education in government schools categorized as less efficient.

The government has allocated over Rs26 billion for the Education Foundation, marking a 7 per cent increase from the current fiscal year. Additionally, the government has earmarked more than Rs2 billion for an initiative aimed at establishing Danish Schools in each district of Punjab. These schools intend to provide state-of-the-art education facilities based on merit to underprivileged male and female students.

The government has proposed a Rs17 billion development budget for higher education. The development projects include an undergraduate scholarship programme, provision of laptops, establishment of a national university in Kohsar Murree, setting up colleges, and provision of basic facilities to students. For special education, the government has allocated Rs2 billion.


The government has allocated over Rs539 billion for the health sector, reflecting a 14 percent increase from the current fiscal year. Of this total, more than Rs410 billion has been proposed for the non-development budget while over Rs128 billion for the development budget of health, marking an 11 per cent increase from the current fiscal year.

In the primary and secondary healthcare sector, the government has allocated over Rs42 billion. Basic Health Units (BHUs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) are being established based on modern standards to ensure the provision of best medical facilities. Moreover, the government has allocated more than Rs55 billion for providing free medicines in Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and emergencies at hospitals across Punjab.



The government has earmarked over Rs64 billion for the agriculture sector and launched the Punjab Kissan Card programme through which 0.5 million farmers will be given loans worth Rs75 billion without any interest. Furthermore, the government has allocated Rs9 billion for converting 7,000 tubewells to solar technology under the ‘Chief Minister’s Programme for Solarization of Agriculture Tubewells’.

The government has also allocated Rs30 billion for the ‘Chief Minister Punjab Green Tractor Programme’ to provide tractors to farmers on easy instalments without any interest



The government has allocated Rs4 billion for the livestock sector. Additionally, it plans to launch a livestock card with Rs2 billion through which 40,000 farmers will receive loans on easy instalments.


Road networks

The government has allocated Rs143 billion for road networks out of which Rs58 billion has been earmarked for completing the ongoing 528 projects. Moreover, following principles of equal development, the government will initiate a rehabilitation programme covering 2,380 kilometers of roads with an allocation of Rs296 billion.

Furthermore, to address road repair needs, the government plans to launch a comprehensive programme consisting of 482 schemes with a budget of Rs135 billion.


Salaries and pensions

The government decided to increase salaries of employees from grade 1 to 16 by 25 per cent, grade 17 to 22 by 20 per cent and pension by 15 per cent.


PPP’s boycott

The PPP boycotted the budget session, with majority of its MPAs abstaining from attending the House. Only two MPAs were present during the session.

PPP leader Ali Haider Gilani stated that the government, despite being an allied partner, did not keep the promises it had made with the party.

He said PPP has reservations not only about the budget but also about other matters of the government. He clarified that both PML-N and PPP are riding in the same boat and that both would suffer losses if promises are not fulfilled.

Journalist’s boycott


The Punjab Assembly Press Gallery Committee (journalists who cover the assembly) boycotted the assembly proceedings in protest against the passage of the Defamation Bill 2024.


CM Maryam Nawaz

During the budget speech, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz appeared to listen to the concerns of the MPAs, receiving slips inscribed with various issues that the MPAs wished to be resolved.

She appeared to maintain a smile on her face as the opposition aggressively chanted slogans. Some opposition lawmakers attempted to throw torn copies of the budget towards the chief minister but could not succeed.

The opposition attempted to reach the chair of the speaker but the PML-N MPAs prevented them from doing so.

On several occasions, both sides appeared pushing each other as the opposition sought space, possibly in front of the chief minister or the speaker, but treasury lawmakers prevented their movement. At one point, assembly security was called to prevent any scuffle.

Later, Maryam applauded the finance minister for delivering a non-stop budget speech. After completing the agenda, the speaker adjourned the House until June 20.



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