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Punjab Govt Unveils Over 2 Trillion Budget For Eight Months

Lahore (October 16, 2108): The Punjab government on Tuesday unveiled a budget of Rs2.02651 trillion for the remaining eight months of current fiscal year 2018-19.

According to the details, the Punjab government unveiled its 2026.51 billion rupees budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 amid ruckus in the provincial assembly by opposition members on the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif.

Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht presented the budget in the provincial assembly.

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In his budget speech, Bakht said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) first hundred days agenda will lay the foundation of a progressive and prosperous Punjab, adding that the party’s reforms agenda is public friendly.

He said that an estimated Rs1,652 billion have been allocated for General Revenue Receipts, noting that Punjab is expecting an income worth Rs1,276 billion from Federal Divisible Pool.

The minister said that the provincial revenue has been estimated to be Rs376 billion. The current expenditure estimate for the ongoing fiscal year is Rs1,264 billion.He added that Rs238 billion have been proposed for Annual Development Expenditures.

Finance Minister criticised the previous government over what he said was flawed planning which resulted in huge loss to the provincial exchequer.

He said the PML-N left nothing but the option of taking loans for the incumbent government as the loans have become a necessity in order to run the affairs of the province and the country at large.Earlier on October 15, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa unveiled a budget with an outlay of over Rs648 billion for the remaining eight months of the ongoing fiscal year 2018-19, showing Rs30 billion surplus with a development outlay of Rs180 billion.

According to the details, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly passed a surplus budget for fiscal year 2018-19 whereas the opposition parties boycotted the session to protest the arrest of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif.

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The total outlay of budget is Rs648 bln. KP govt has estimated expenditures for FY 2018-19 around Rs618 bln whereas Rs180 bln has been earmarked for uplift projects across province. Rs5 bln has been earmarked for providing interest-free loans to youth and skill development projects.

Delivering the budget speech in the assembly session which met with Speaker KP Assembly Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani in the Chair, Minister for Finance Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra said that since upliftling of poor segments of the society was the top priority, the government has not revised the rate of any provincial tax.

He said that the government is making concentrated efforts to strengthen taxation recovery system; however, it will not impose any new tax on the people.He said that the current revenue receipts are 7.5 percent above Rs603 billion of the outgoing fiscal year.

The minister also announced an increase of 10 percent ad-hoc relief in salaries and pensions in addition to 50 percent raise in house rent of the provincial government employees in budget 2018-19.

Giving breakup of the provincial receipts, he said they included Rs426 billion from the federal government which included Rs360bn under the federal taxes and Rs233bn as royalty oil and gas.

Similarly, the province will obtain Rs65bn as net hydel profit including Rs38bn net profit arrears.

Jhagra said that the own receipts of the province have been pitched at Rs23.82bn from its taxes and Rs17.439bn from non-tax sector.As much as Rs71 billion have been pitched as foreign grant in 2008-19, showing 11 percent increase over the outgoing year.

The province will generate Rs45bn showing seven percent increase from other receipts to be generated at the province level, the minister said.

The province will receive Rs360 billion from the federal divisible pool in addition to Rs4.33bn as one percent of the divisible pool for war on terror.

The budget also envisages hefty funds for major schemes such the BRT project and Sehat Insaf programme, besides other sectors.It also proposes Rs79.55 billion for the provincial development projects while Rs29.34 billion has been put aside for development schemes financed by the district annual development programme.

K-P govt also plans to extend the Sehat Insaaf Card scheme to another 80000 families.

In the onset, PML-N lawmakers chanted slogans and protested arrest of Shehbaz Sharif. Later, the opposition led by PML-N staged walkout.

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