LAHORE: The Government of Punjab on Friday presented a Rs 1,447.2 billion annual budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 before the provincial Assembly.
This is eighth consecutive budget of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s provincial government. Recently-appointed Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha presented the budget during the session chaired by Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan.
According to details of the budget read out by the provincial finance minister, the provincial government is eyeing a revenue target of Rs160bn from provincial taxes and other sources.
Among the major head included in the budget statement, the government has allocated Rs 400 billion for development works – a Rs 55bn increase from last year – and Rs 733 billion for non-developmental expenditure.
The government has proposed a 7.5 percent increase in salaries and pensions of Punjab government employees, while it has set the proposed minimum wage of private sector workers to Rs 13,000.
Among major allocation heads, the finance minster said the provincial government has set aside Rs 310bn – or 27 percent of the total budget – for education.
Other allocations included Rs 166bn for health, Rs 117bn for rural development, Rs 105bn for expenditure on construction of roads and bridges, and Rs 87bn for the provincial police department.
Separately, the Punjab government is proposing Rs 31bn to end the power crisis, and Rs 17bn to develop the Multan metro bus project.
The Punjab government has also allocated Rs 2bn for the development of a cardiac hospital and education in Balochistan province.
Earlier, the Punjab cabinet approved the budget proposals for the next fiscal year at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore.
The chief minister said the government has allocated ample funds in the budget for development of all areas of the province. He said focus has been laid on health, education, energy, clean drinking water and construction of roads in rural areas.