No new tax in Rs 489.9 billion Punjab budget

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Govt. Policies - Budget

Punjab Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira presented Rs 489.8 billion budget for 2009-10 in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday, terming it as tax-free and poor-prone in his speech, which was his second in a row. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was present on the occasion.

The provincial Finance Minister also presented an estimated Rs 175 billion Annual Development Program (ADP) for the coming financial year which, he said, was the largest in the history of the province. In the measures to eke out salaried class in the next financial year, the government servants from July 1, 2009 would be given 15 percent ad hoc relief allowance.

The proposed budget for 2009-10 entails Rs 43 billion for maintenance of law and order under the terse conditions in which the province has suffered much at the hands of terrorists and mentions relief for the refugees for the displaced persons of Swat and other areas. In measures to supplement police Rs 8 billion would be used on police in the next financial year under the propsed budget 2009-10.

On the agriculture sector development subsidy which was one billion rupees in the current financial year on Green Tractor Scheme has been doubled to Rs two billion in the propsed budget for 2009-10. It is estimated that the provincial government would receive Rs 13 billion from sale of property that is not in the use of public. This money would be used on punblic development ventures, the finance minister added.

Uner the proposed budget Punjab Endowment Fund with the additional resources from Punjab Co-operative Board for Liquidation has been doubled from Rs two billion to Rs 4 billion. In further measures to supplement education in the next financial year there would be upgradation of 1100 schools and training of 1,00,000 teachers in public and 70,000 teachers from private sector.

Rs one billion would be used on upgrading school councils, and computer labs would be established in 4286 High Schools. Under the proposed budget, measures would be taken to reduce non-development expenditure and an action plan on the instructions of Chief Minister Punjab has been framed under which there would be a saving of Rs 5 billion, Kiara said.

In monetary instruments, there would be security features in the Stamp Paper to avoid fraud and other negative measures in the next financial year. Rs 300 million has been earmarked for jail reforms. Kaira said that under the Revenue Account expected income is Rs 423.5 billion in which Rs 321 billion is from Federal Divisible Pool for provinces. He said Rs 11 billion were expected from federal government under direct receipts and grants.

He said in provincial taxes Rs 49.7 billion and provincial non-tax revenue Rs 41.8 billion were expected. On Educational development he said Rs 23 billion was part of development funding and added that Rs 12 billion would be incurred on health sector development works, which was 30 percent more than the present financial year. He said work on four medical colleges would commence in the next financial yerar including provision of CT Scan and MRI.

Rs 1.60 billion would be used on promotion of games, the Finance Minister said. Rs 8.50 billion would be spent on water supply and drainage. Kaira showed optimism that this would result in improvement of system in urban as well as rural areas. He said ABAD barani area development authority had started Reverse Development projects.

On the development of Agriculture, he said Rs 3.20 billion would be incurred in which Rs 1.20 million would be spent on agriculture research, proposed budget indicates. The minister said that to improve infrastructure, Rs 47.55 billion would be utilised.

In development of southern Punjab with the help of DFID British Development organisation, a three-year social welfare improvement plan has been made that will cost Rs 6.90 billion in which Rs 1.40 billion has been earmarked.

For overall development in southern Punjab Rs five billion have been kept in next financial year. In other salient projects for southern Punjab under the development program a medical college in Dera Ghazi Khan, and a kidney centre in Multan, Extension of Emergency Ward of Multan Institute of Cardiology would be undertaken.

Rs 2.30 billion has been kept for TEVTA development grant. In tourism, Rs 163 million were kept in the next financial year. On information technology Rs 1.30 billion have been kept and on computerisation of land revenue record, work was in progress.

The minsiter said that in Diosaster Management Service Rs two billion would be used. With nine world reputed companies, agreements were signed for plying 1,000 buses. A Chinese firm had undertaken to run 200 CNG buses. Rs one billion subsidy had been kept for better transport facilities. The budget session, which was to commence at 3:00 pm, commenced at 4:00 pm. It was chaired by Muhammad Iqbal, Speaker of the Provincial Assembly.


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