LAHORE: A Rs1.45 trillion estimated provincial budget outlay for the fiscal year 2015-2016 was presented in the Punjab Assembly by Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghous-Pasha on Friday, reported Radio Pakistan.
|Dr Ghous-Pasha presents the budget. ─ DawnNews screengrab|
Dr Ayesha Ghous-Pasha is the first female finance minister to present the budget to the Punjab Assembly.
Provincial revenue during FY15-16 is expected to be Rs256bn, while Rs888.5bn will be received by Punjab as its share of the National Finance Commission award.
Punjab's Annual Development Programme has been allocated Rs400bn. Rs20.1bn has been allocated specifically to women's development over the coming fiscal year.
A total of Rs119bn has been allocated to the social sector over FY15-16.
The health sector has been allocated Rs166.16bn.
The Chief Minister's Rozgar Scheme budget allocation for FY15-16 is Rs2bn. The scheme which provides interest-free loans of up to Rs50,000 will serve more than 1m people.
In addition, the Punjab Social Protection Authority will launch its first project for Rs2bn in FY15-16.
Rs1bn has been allocated for minorities over the coming fiscal year.
The Punjab Educational Foundation will be allocated a proposed amount of Rs10.5bn over FY15-16 to fund the education of lesser-privileged children wishing to study at private schools free of cost.
Law and order
Rs110bn has been set aside for the maintenance of law and order in the province, while Rs18bn has been allocated to the judiciary.
Dr Ghous-Pasha announced a Rs110 billion 1,200 megawatt gas-fired power project in Sheikhupura for which Rs15bn will be allocated in FY15-16.
Four 150MW power projects will be set up in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Sialkot for which Rs90bn will be allocated in the upcoming fiscal year.
Rs52bn has been allocated in FY15-16 for the building of new roads from farms to marketplaces to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce.
Another Rs21bn has been set aside for the improvement of irrigation systems in Punjab under the Punjab Irrigated Agricultural Productivity Improvement project, in which 120,000 acres will be irrigated through drip sprinklers and 7,000 water courses will be renovated ─ for which Rs4.98bn has been allocated in FY15-16.
Rs8bn of the provincial budget has been allocated to livestock.
The Punjab government has allocated Rs2.17bn for the development of iron and copper deposits, specifically in Chiniot-Rajwa. The project has been handed to a well-known Chinese company.
The budget allocated Rs290bn to education, Rs800bn to non-development expenditure, Rs31bn to the power sector, Rs5bn to roads, and Rs39bn to the services sector.
The approved budget was presented to the Punjab Assembly following the approval of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's in the assembly cabinet.
Read more: Budget 2015-16: What went up, what went down
Punjab government officials told Dawn on Thursday that the annual development budget would focus on mega infrastructural projects in the road, transport and energy sectors like the Orange Metro Line for Lahore, Lahore Ring Road southern loop, an LNG-based power project, a Metro Bus project for Multan, and the Farm to Market roads project. It is expected to allocate Rs10bn each for these projects during the next financial year.
The development outlay for FY15-16 will be Rs54bn less than the size the provincial government had envisaged in its rolling, three-year medium-term development framework (MTDF). The MTDF had pitched development investment in the province at Rs454bn.