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Punjab cuts expenses; focuses on development

18 June, 2013

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LAHORE: The Punjab government of the PML-N on Monday presented a development focussed budget of Rs 871 billion with a cut on its expenses.

The Rs 26 billion deficit budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 imposes taxes on the rich, especially on the luxury immoveable property (houses) in urban areas, fashion and music shows, horse racing and circus. The government has also announced 10 percent increase in its employees' salaries and pensions, setting minimum wages at Rs 10,000 for the labour class.

Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman presented the budget-2013-14 and finance bill 2013-14 in the House. The total outlay of the budget is Rs 871 billion and the province will get a total of Rs 702 billion from the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and will collect total revenue of Rs 169 billion through the provincial taxes. The government has allocated Rs 897 billion for its expenses, including Rs 290 billion for annual development projects and Rs 607 billion for regular expenditures.

Delivering almost one-and-half-hour-long budget speech, the finance minister announced that the Punjab government has set aside Rs 20.43 billion for various projects in the energy sector to overcome the shortfall of electricity. He announced that the government has allocated Rs 239 billion for local governments, Rs 93.7 billion for public order and safety, Rs 101 billion for general administration, Rs 210 billion for education, Rs 82 billion for health sector, Rs 13 billion for agriculture, Rs 74.9 billion for pensions and Rs 36 billion for subsidy to masses in different heads.

Rehman announced that Rs 90 billion have been allocated for social sector, Rs 90 billion for infrastructure, Rs 11 billion for production sector, Rs 13 billion for services, Rs 24.8 billion for special programme and Rs 50 billion for other development priorities. He said that the government has allocated Rs 3 billion for interest-free loans for educated youth in Yellow Cab and Green Tractor schemes, while Rs 50 billion have been set aside for youth internship programme. Also, Rs 28 billion have been allocated for subsidy on flour, while Rs 5 billion have been set aside for subsidy for Ramadan Package.

End.

Reader Comments:

In imposing the 'LUXURY TAX on self occupied houses in the Punjab budget, the owner of the Raiwind estate, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif probably didn't realize that most of the residences were old family homes which the owners were maintaining with considerable cost and effort. This Tax is a cruelty of the worst kind inflicted on the 'Safaid Posh' people of the Punjab. I request the honorable and kind Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of this open act of cruelty against human rights where people, on account of this burden, may be forced into selling their property and hence be deprived of a secure roof above their heads.

Safaidposh, Pakistan - 18 June, 2013

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