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No new tax in KP in Rs 344bn budget

18 June, 2013

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PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led coalition government presented its maiden tax-free budget in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday, with 11 times higher allocation for education.

The total outlay of the budget is Rs 334 billion, a 13.5 percent increase over the revenue receipts of the outgoing fiscal and it includes Rs 118 billion annual development programme. The total outlay of expenditure also stands at Rs 334 billion, senior minister Sirajul Haq of Jamaat-e-Islami, who heads the Finance Ministry, said while presenting the budget which allocated Rs 66 billion for education.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced a 15 percent increase in salaries and pensions of government employees. The minimum wage has been set at Rs 10,000 against the current Rs 7,000, the finance minister told the assembly's special budget session which was chaired by Speaker Asad Qaiser. "I am pleased to announce that no new tax has been imposed in the budget nor any upward or downward adjustment has been made in the provincial taxes," Sirajul Haq said, adding that to bring improvement in the taxation system, reforms process would be started with the establishment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority.

The PTI government also allocated a considerable amount for health sector – Rs 22.80 billion. Rs 118 billion have been earmarked for the province's Annual Development Programme (ADP), Sirajul Haq said amidst desk thumping by treasury benches. Under the budget, the government will introduce 531 new schemes in addition to the ongoing 565 which had been set in motion by the previous government.

The finance minister said the total outlay of the ADP was 12 percent more than the current fiscal year, and that the new ADP consisted of 983 projects, including 609 ongoing and 374 new schemes. The government would spend Rs 11.16 billion on debt retirement. A subsidy of Rs 2.5 billion on wheat would continue.

Sirajul Haq said the province expected to get Rs 198.269 billion from the federation under various taxation heads which is eight percent more than the outgoing fiscal year. He said that graduates of universities would be provided a stipend of Rs 2000 on monthly basis and Rs 500 million have been proposed for the purpose.

End.

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