LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman presented the budget having a total outlay of Rs 897 billion, before the provincial assembly’s special session, with Speaker Rana Iqbal in the chair.
A major cut in the expenditures for the Chief Minister’s house were announced, which are proposed to be reduced by 30 per cent.
The minister said that Rs290 billion had been allocated for the Annual Development Programme (ADP) and the provincial government was expected to receive Rs708 billion via the National Finance Commission (NFC) award.
Rs 20.4 billion for the province’s energy sector were announced while Rs 17 billion were allocated for health care.
The finance minister said that there would be a ban on the purchase of government cars. He also said that the minimum wages for labourers were to be set at Rs.10,000.
The government allocated Rs. 77 billion for the Punjab police department, while Rs. 1.5 billion were announced for a youth internship programme.
The Punjab government allocated an amount of Rs 6.3 billion for the transport department to provide accessible time saving and developing an environment friendly transport system.
The minister said that the govt has allocated an amount of Rs 2.5 billion for six ongoing schemes of the population welfare department.
Moreover, the government has allocated a sum of Rs 22.4 billion for the development of the irrigation sector.
It was announced that the government has planned to levy income based taxation on agriculture. The tax is part of tax reforms of the provincial government, said the minister. “As per the reforms, the persons declaring agriculture income in their income tax return would be required to pay agriculture income tax to Punjab government. Tax is imposed because the government recognises that agriculture income tax is demand of equity and is widely considered as must for economy.”
The Punjab finance minister said that Rs 36 million has been allocated for different projects of Auqaf and Religious Affairs under development programme.