Hashim Jawan Bakht unveils Rs2.653 trillion budget

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Punjab Minister for Finance Hashim Jawan Bakht on Monday presented the budget for fiscal year 2021-22 in the provincial assembly with a total outlay of Rs2.653 trillion.

Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht presented the budget for fiscal year 2021-22.

Presenting the budget of Provincial Finance Minister Hashim Javan Bakht said that the budget of Punjab would be the guarantor of development and prosperity. He said that even the developed countries were helpless due to Coronavirus pandemic but PTI government provided relief to the poor people during pandemic.

“Today, economic indicators are improving. Pakistan’s stock market has reached an all-time high,” he said. He said clean water would be provided and for this purpose a comprehensive system was being launched in Punjab.


Revenue Collection 


Hashim Jawan Bakht in his budget speech said that the target of provincial revenue has been set at Rs 359 billion. The finance minister said that the federal government had set tax revenue collection target of Rs 5,829 billion for next fiscal year and, under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, Punjab would receive Rs 1,684 billion.

That amount is 18 per cent more than the current fiscal year’s Rs 1,433 billion, while provincial receipts (own resource revenue) are estimated at Rs 405 billion for FY 2021-22; 28 per cent higher than Rs 317 billion of FY 2020-21.

Terming the provincial budget progressive and pro-business in the given circumstances, Hashim Jawan Bakht added that ongoing expenditure for the next FY had been estimated at Rs 1,428 billion.


Health 


He said Rs 370 billion have been allocated for the health sector. He said Rs 80 billion have been allocated for the Universal Health Insurance Program.

The provincial finance minister said that construction of a 1,000-bed hospital would be started in Lahore at a cost of Rs 14 billion, adding that Rs 3 billion modern trauma centers will also be set up in 14 cities.


Salaries and Pensions 


The cabinet had approved a 10 percent rise in salaries and pension of the government employees. The meeting had also approved regarding increase in minimum wages of unskilled labourers from Rs 17,500 to 20,000.


Development Plan and Schemes 


The Punjab government allocated a hefty amount of Rs 560 billion under the Annual Development Programme (ADP), showing a record increase of 66 per cent. The ADP has been worked out with special focus on south Punjab and uniformed development process across the province.

It is to mention here that Rs 337 billion had been earmarked for development during the current fiscal year.

For the first time in history, a separate annual development plan of Rs189 billion is allocated for south Punjab, while these schemes would also be published in separate budget books.

The provincial minister further said that a network of development schemes was being laid in 36 districts and Rs 28.30 billion have been allocated for development projects.

As soon as the budget speech began in the Punjab Assembly, the opposition staged protest. The opposition members holding placards chanted slogans against the budget.


Education 


Bakht continued his speech and said that the total budget of education has been set at Rs 442 billion and an engineering university is also being set up in Sialkot at a cost of Rs 17 billion.

He said 25 per cent of schools in Punjab are being upgraded while seven new universities are being set up in the province next year. In addition, 40,000 students will receive vocational training.


Agriculture 


The minister said that over Rs 31 billion have been allocated for agriculture sector. He said the government would introduce reforms in agriculture sector, while four centres of excellence would be established for wheat, rice and other crops.


Electric Buses 


“Rs 600 million have been earmarked for electric buses in Lahore,” the minister said and added the tax rate on various services are being reduced to 16 per cent.


Transport department 


During his budget speech, Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht said Rs 16.8 billion have been earmarked for the transport sector during the fiscal year 2021-22.

He said that the provincial government had allocated Rs 16.1 billion for ongoing schemes under which, 15.9 billion would be spent on Mass Transit project while Rs 197 million will be spent in the transport department.

He said Rs 697 million had been earmarked for new schemes of the transport department. The new scheme includes construction of 200 bus stop shelters, including Bus Information and Scheduling System in Lahore.