Hammad Azhar presents Federal Budget 2020-21 with outlay of Rs 7,294.9 billion

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Friday presented the Federal Budget 2020-21 at the National Assembly with a total outlay of Rs 7,294.9 billion.

Presenting the Federal Budget 2020-21 in the House, Hammad Azhar said that the resource availability during 2020-21 has been estimated at Rs 6,314.9 billion against Rs 4,917.2 billion in the budget estimates of 2019-20.

The minister said that the net revenue receipts for 2020-21 have been estimated at Rs 3,699.5 billion indicating an increase of 6.7 percent over the budget estimates of 2019-20. He said that the net capital receipts have been estimated at Rs 1,463.2 billion which are 75.93 percent higher than the outgoing fiscal year.

Hammad Azhar said that the gross domestic product (GDP) target for the year has been set at 2.1 percent which remained negative 4 percent in the outgoing fiscal year. He said that agriculture is targeted to grow by 2.8 percent, the Industrial Sector is expected to grow by 0.1 percent, and the Services Sector is expected to grow by 2.6 percent.

The minister for industries and production said that the current account deficit will be confined to 4.4 percent, and the inflation will be brought down from 9.1 percent to 6.5 percent while the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will be enhanced by 25 percent.

The federal minister said that due to the economic crisis triggered by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Civil Servants’ pays and pensions will be unchanged from last year in the Federal Budget 2020-21.

The minister said that the federal government has recommended giving a Rs 200 billion subsidy to the Power Sector.

Hammad Azhar said that the size of the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2020-21 has been set at Rs 1,324 billion while the development expenditure outside the PSDP has been estimated at Rs 70.0 billion in the budget 2020-21.

Out of Rs 1,324 billion PSDP, Rs 676 billion has been allocated to the provinces. The federal PSDP has been estimated at Rs 650 billion, out of which Rs 418.7 billion for Federal Ministries/Divisions.

Likewise, Rs 100.4 billion has been allocated for Corporations, Rs 3 billion for Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), and 7 billion for COVID-19 responsive and other natural calamities program.

Hammad Azhar said that the FBR tax collection target has been set at Rs 4,963 billion while the non-tax revenue is estimated to be about Rs 1,610 billion.

The federal minister said that the provincial share in the federal taxes is estimated at Rs 2,873.7 billion during 2020-21 which is 11.7 percent lower than the budget estimates for 2019-20. Under the NFC award, Rs 2,874 billion will be transferred to the provinces.

In addition, he said that on President Dr. Arif Alvi‘s recommendations, the artist welfare fund has been increased from existing Rs 250 million to Rs 1 billion.

The federal minister said that the government has allocated Rs 6 billion to combat Climate Change.

Similarly, Rs 20 billion has been allocated for the Science & Technology, and Rs 5 billion has been allocated for Educational Reforms.

Hammad Azhar said that Rs 30 billion has been allocated to bring innovation in the Higher Education Sector. He said that the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) funds worth Rs 60 billion have now been increased to Rs 64 billion.

The minister said that Rs 24 billion has been earmarked for ML-1 and other projects of Pakistan Railways and additional funds of Rs 37 billion for other projects of the Communication Sector.

The federal minister said that Rs 118 billion has been allocated for CPEC-related projects including its western route.

Referring to the challenge posed by COVID-19 for the Health Sector, Hammad Azhar said that Rs 20 billion has been allocated to improve the capacity of health institutions and the production of health equipment with the aim to provide better health services and check diseases in the Country.

The federally-administered hospitals in Lahore and Karachi including Sheikh Zayed & Jinnah Hospital (JPMC) will get Rs 13 billion additional funds, Hammad Azhar said.

The minister said that Rs 100 billion has been allocated for Corona Fund, Rs 50 billion allocated for Utilities Stores, Rs 100 billion allocated for relief in electricity & gas bills.

Furthermore, he told the House that the budget for Ehsaas Programme has been increased to Rs 208 billion from the existing Rs 187 billion. While a sum of Rs 179 billion has been allocated to provide different subsidies in Energy, Food, and Other Sectors.

Regarding empowering the youth, the minister said that Rs 2 billion has been allocated for the Kamyab Jawan Programme for capacity building of the youth.

The minister said that the government has provided the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) a sum of Rs 30 billion to provide low-cost housing to the people.

Through Qarze-e-Hassan Scheme, Rs 1.5 billion will be dispersed through the Akhuwat Foundation for low-cost housing.

Likewise, a special grant of Rs 10 billion for Balochistan and Rs 50 billion for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has been allocated while a sum of Rs 56 billion has been allocated for merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Members holding placards chanted slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan and thumped tables as Hammad Azhar highlighted the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government’s efforts to streamline the economy.