Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget

By: News Desk      Published: 04:26 PM, 15 Jun, 2020
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget
Punjab presents Rs 2.24 trillion budget

Punjab government presented Rs2.24 trillion annual budget for the financial year 2020-21 with total annual development outlay of Rs338.5 billion amid strong protest lodged by the opposition benches. 

Opposition benches lodged a noisy protest during the budget speech and raised anti-government slogans.

Provincial Minister for Finance Hashim Jawan Bakhat presented the budget in the session held at a local hotel in Lahore. The budget session was started with a delay of two hours.

Spokesperson of the Finance Department in a statement said for the first time, the budget proposals have been prepared with the consultation of all stakeholders.

Provincial Minister for Finance Hashim Jawan Bakhat on twitter said, “Presenting the Punjab Budget 2020-21 with the vision that Punjab and Pakistan will overcome all challenges and move forward- Agay Barho Punjab #Budget 2020-21.”

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar arrived at the local hotel and met with the Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi to finalize the strategy for the session.

Speaker adjourned the PA session for two days.

Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Monday chaired a provincial cabinet meeting, which unanimously approved the budget proposals for fiscal year 2020-21, besides finance bill 2020.

Supplementary budget 2019-20 and revised estimates for the financial year 2019-20 was also approved in the meeting.

There would be a ban on using development funds of south Punjab for any other project or city. CM said, “Under prevailing situation of coronavirus pandemic, the current budget is completely people friendly and balanced.”

Finance Minister started the speech and said that government expenditures will be reduced. “There was 13 percent increase in taxes while the coronavirus hit the country in the last quarter of the financial year.”

Hashim Jawan Bakht said under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award Punjab will get Rs. 1433 billion.  The development project of the province has been budgeted Rs 337 billion. Rs 77.35 billion have been proposed for the Infrastructure Development. Rs 2 billion have been set aside for promotion of tourism.

The Punjab Sales Tax was slashed to 5 percent for the majority of services.

Coronavirus

Punjab government allocated Rs 43 billion to fight coronavirus in the budget.

Tribute to Frontline Doctors and paramedics

The Finance Minister in his speech paid tribute to the frontline medics and paramedics. He announced that one-month extra salary will be given to those doctors and paramedics who are performing duties related to coronavirus. Rs 25 have been budgeted for Zakat Department and PDMA.

Punjab government has set the revenue target of Rs 317 billion.

16% tax will be deducted from the restaurants, beauty parlors and beauty products.  All cinemas have been exempted from all tax until June 30.

The government has allocated more than 55% of its budget for the four departments, including Rs323 billion for school education, Rs130 billion for specialised health, Rs123.5 billion for primary health, Rs132.8 billion for the police department.

The overall provincial tax revenue target is being fixed at Rs230 billion from last year Rs295 billion.

South Punjab Secretariat

The Finance Minister said that from July 1, 2020 the South Punjab secretariat will be operational. Rs 1.50 billion have been set aside for the South Punjab Secretariat.

The Additional Chief Secretary and Additional Inspector General (IGP) and 16 special secretaries of various departments will assume their charge in the South Punjab Secretariat from 01 July 2020. 

Health Budget

Punjab government have budgeted Rs 284.20 billion for health in the province. There have been 13 percent spike in the target set for FBR tax returns in the province.

He said the Punjab government had rejected the Rs 61 billion supplementary grants applications. As part of the austerity measures the Punjab government saved Rs 1.50 billion, the finance minister said. Provincial revenue will be Rs. 317 billion while 20 percent rebate will be given on vehicle registration and token tax.

He announced that 10 percent discount will be given and 10% rebate will be given on payment of property tax. It is proposed to reduce the rate of entertainment duty from 20 percent to 5 percent, he said.

Education

Rs 350 billion have been budgeted for School Education and Rs 3 billion set aside for Danish Schools. Punjab government has allocated Rs 37.56 billion for Higher Education including Rs 3.94 billion development projects while seven new universities are being established in various districts of the province. 

Rs 3 billion has been budgeted for Literacy Program in the province while Rs 800 million set aside for Special Education. To stem the spread of locusts swarms Rs 4 billion have been allocated in the financial budget 2020-21.

Tax Relief

Finance Minister said that more than Rs 18 billion tax relief has been provided in the budget. It has been proposed in the budget that hospital tax may reduce to zero percent. 20 perecnt tax reliefs would be given on the complete submission of small guest houses, property tax, marriage halls, Rent-a-Car, Cable Tv Operators, vehicle registration. Local Bodies will get Rs 600 million yearly tax relief.

Rs 1.25 billion for Punjab Revenue Authority, Rs 56 billion for Board of Revenue, Rs 32.4 billion for excise, Rs 6.8 billion for energy, Rs 70 billion for transport, Rs 124.4 billion for primary and secondary health. An additional grant of Rs 13.8 billion has been released to the Punjab Police.

Agriculture

Punjab government has set aside Rs 31.73 billion in the budget while Rs 13.30 billion budgeted for Livestock department. And Rs 8.73 billion have been allocated for Wildlife Department.   

He said Rs 25 billion have been budgeted for the Public-Private Partnership in the province. 

No cut or increase in salaries

Punjab government was suggested by the Finance Department to impose 10 per cent salary cut for three months for officers of BS-18 to BS-22, the proposal was rejected by Punjab CM and a decision was taken not to cut salaries of the government employees. The government, however, also decided not to increase the salaries and pensions.

Categories : Pakistan, Punjab