First budget to give roadmap to uplift four million poor households: Finance Minister

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - The session of National Assembly on Tuesday passed the budget for the next fiscal year.

The bill was presented by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin. The amendments proposed by the opposition in the finance bill were rejected by the House.

Having a total outlay of 8,487 billion rupees, the budget 2021-22 envisages incentives and measures for various sectors to promote business activities and provide relief to the general public.

The federal employees have been granted ten percent ad hoc relief besides ten percent increase in pensions. The minimum wage has been enhanced to twenty thousand rupees per month.

The annual PSDP has been increased by forty percent from six hundred and thirty billion rupees to nine hundred billion rupees. One hundred billion rupees have been earmarked for construction of hydro power dams including Dasu, Diamer Basha, Mohmand and Neelum Jhelum.

The growth target of 4.8 percent has been set for the next fiscal year with tax collection target of 5829 billion rupees.

Allocation for Ehsaas program has been enhanced from 210 billion rupees to 260 billion rupees for the next fiscal year.

An amount of 682 billion rupees have been earmarked for subsidies which were 430 billion rupees during the outgoing fiscal year.

The budget provides zero rating to export of IT services. Tax relief has been given for locally manufactured cars up to 1000CC whilst various tax exemptions and concessions have also been given to encourage the manufacturing of electric vehicles in the country.

Sixty six billion rupees have been allocated for the Higher Education Commission and ten billion rupees for Kamyab Jawan Program.

The budget also envisages allocation of 1.1 billion dollars for procurement of anti covid vaccine.

The Lower House of the Parliament will resume its session tomorrow at 11:30am. Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari attended the session.

Earlier, taking the floor, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin had said the targets set in the budget 2021-22 will be achieved. He said it was the first budget which has given a roadmap to uplift four million poor households by providing interest free loans to them. He said these households will also be provided with Sehat Insaaf Cards and equipped with technical skills.

The finance minister said the core inflation stands at seven percent. He admitted that the prices of food items have increased which is so because the agriculture sector was ignored in the past.

He said we were spending Rs 62 billion for the uplift of this important sector of economy. He said we are also giving exemptions worth billions of rupees to this sector on fertilizers and pesticides. He pointed out that the provincial governments are also spending on the agriculture sector.

Shaukat Tarin said we have to enhance the tax to GDP ratio to twenty percent to take the country forward on the economic front. He said we do not believe in harassment but action will be taken against willful defaulters.

Govt imposed taxes of Rs1200 billion in budget: Khurshid Shah

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Khurshid Shah on Tuesday said that incumbent government promised to announce a tax free budget but instead it imposed taxes of Rs1200 billion on the populace.

Expressing his views during the NA session, Khurshid Shah said that poverty in the country has risen to historic level. He lambasted government’s agricultural policies and wondered why country’s agricultural output is not increasing despite Pakistan being an agricultural country.

He added that country’s agricultural land is shrinking while population is on the rise and asked government what it has done to address the issue.

The PPP leader said that providing health card will not solve anything. In Sindh, a heart operation which costs about Rs2 million is done free of cost and they are never asked that where did they come from, he added.