Ayesha Ghaus presents Rs.1681 bln budget in Punjab Assembly

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha on Monday presented the provincial budget having total outlay of Rs1681.41 billion during the Punjab Assembly session chaired by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal.

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Giving a break-up of the budget receipts and expenditures, she said that next financial year’s general revenue receipts are estimated at Rs1319 billion, as the provincial government would receive a total of Rs1039 billion from federal divisible pool under National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

Moreover, a total of Rs280 billion will be generated from province’s own revenues which include Rs184.40 billion in tax revenue and Rs95.61 billion in non-tax revenue.

Dr. Ayesha Ghous said that out of Rs550 billion allocated for the annual development programme, Rs168.87 billion have been proposed for vital social sectors which include education, health, water supply and sanitation, women development and social security.

She mentioned that the development budget for social sector consisted of 31 per cent of the total ADP.

The finance minister was quick to highlight that this year’s development programme of Rs550 billion was 37.5 per cent higher than the Rs400 billion ADP of current financial year ending June 30, 2016.

She expressed the hope that huge allocation for the ADP would result in creation of 500,000 new employment opportunities due to initiation of developmental programmes.

During the next financial year, she added, the government’s total operating expenditure and non-development funds estimates are calculated at Rs849.94 billion.

The provincial government has earmarked Rs20 billion for the agriculture sector in the budget for FY 2016-17.

According to the budget document, Rs8.2 billion have been allocated for 25 ongoing schemes while Rs11.8 billion for 40 new schemes.

It is pertinent to mention that the total allocation includes Rs 200 million for other development programmes of agriculture sector while Rs 10 billion for Khadim-e-Punjab Kissan Package.

Dr Pasha announced that the provincial government has allocated Rs1,584 million for Social Welfare and Baitul Maal department for the financial year 2016-17.

A major part of the proposed allocation will be spent on establishment of Qasr-e-Behbood and Survivors of Violence Against Women Centres in various districts of the province.

During the same period, the department will carry out 19 new schemes as well.

The provincial government has allocated Rs7.5 billion for industrial development in the budget for the fiscal year 2016-17.

According to budget documents, Rs3.086 billion will be spent on salaries of the employees, whereas remaining amount of Rs4.474 billion has been reserved for non-salary expenditure.

Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) will receive about Rs4.897 billion as grant-in-aid, which is less than the last year’s allocation, while an amount of Rs151.973 million has been reserved for headquarters establishment.

Rs178.613 million have been reserved for Inspectorate of Mines, whereas the Punjab Small Industries Corporation will get Rs 1.326 billion as grant-in-aid.

Rs214.843 million have been reserved for Mines Labour Welfare Commissionerate and Rs170.152 million will be spent on the headquarters establishment.

Punjab Skills Development Project will receive Rs79.8 million. Sasti Roti Authority will receive Rs309.583 million and Rs231.617 million will be spent on regional offices of the authority.

The provicial government will distribute 100,000 laptops among college and university students through the higher education department during the academic year 2016-17.

According to the budget statistics,the government has decided to continue laptop scheme in the higher education sector and it has earmarked Rs4 billion for the project.

The government has also allocated Rs46.86 billion for the higher education sector and this budget will be utilised for construction of additional university buildings in Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Rahim yar Khan, Faisalabad and Multan besides provision of important infrastructure.

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