LAHORE, Pakistan: The Punjab government has presented its budget for the next fiscal year 2020-21 with a total outlay of Rs 2.22 trillion.
The Provincial Finance Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht presented the budget during the Provincial Assembly Session held at a Local Hotel in Lahore on Monday.
In his budget speech, the Provincial Finance Minister said that an overall amount of Rs 337 billion is being allocated annual development program (ADP) for the next fiscal year.
Under the annual development program, Rs 97.66 billion have been allocated for Social Sector, Rs 77.86 billion for Infrastructure Development, Rs 17.35 billion for Production Sector, Rs 45.38 billion for Services Sector, Rs 51.24 billion for other Sectors, Rs 47.50 billion for Special Program while Rs 25 billion for the Public-Private Partnership.
The finance minister said that collections’ revenue worth Rs 4,963 billion from the Federal Divisional Pool is expected while Punjab will be provided Rs 1,433 billion under the NFC Award during the next fiscal year. He said that a target of Rs 317 billion has been fixed for Own-Resources Revenue.
Hashim Jawan Bakht said that Special Funds on a priority basis have been allocated for eleven important sectors including education, health, and employment generation.
The minister announced the biggest tax relief package of the Punjab history for Business Community which will also provide relief to the public as well. Under the package, the tax rate on health insurance and doctors’ consultancy fees and hospitals will be made zero from the current rate of 16 percent and 5 percent respectively.
The provincial finance minister said that tax rate on more than 20 Services including small hotels, guest houses, marriage halls, lawns, caterers, IT services, tour operators will be brought down from 16 percent to 5 percent.
The minister said that the current rate of stamp duty rate will be brought down from 5 percent to 1 percent during the next fiscal year which will help in promoting the construction industry and create new job opportunities.
In his budget speech, the Punjab finance minister said that the provincial government has decided to include the private sector to meet its development needs through innovating financing.
The minister said that the Punjab Public Partnership Authority (PPPA) has been set up which has identified mega projects including Lahore Ring Road Phase 4, Multan Vehari Dual Road, Nala Lai Expressway, Rawalpindi Ring Road and provision of Water Meters worth Rs 165 billion for the next fiscal year.
Hashim Jawan Bakht said that Rs 15 billion is being allocated for the Community Development Program. He said that Rs 8 billion is being allocated for the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The finance minister said that an allocation worth Rs 6.87 billion has been made for the Technical and Vocational Education Authority out of which the Hundermand Jawan Program is being launched at a cost of Rs 1.50 billion.
The Punjab finance minister said that a huge amount of Rs 284.2 billion has been allocated for the Health Sector for the next fiscal year.
The minister said that the government is utilizing all available resources to tackle COVID-19 and an overall amount of Rs 13 billion has been fixed to control the pandemic.
The provincial minister said that the Health Insaf Card Program has been expanded to the whole province and health cards have been so far distributed amongst five million families.
Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said that more than Rs 391 billion is being allocated for the Education Sector. Out of it, Rs 350.10 billion will be spent on the School Education Department which will ensure the provision of scholarships to more than 500,000 female students and free textbooks for all.