LAHORE: The Punjab government presented a budget outlay of Rs 1.681 trillion in the Provincial Assembly on Monday for the fiscal year (FY) 2016-17.
Finance Minister Dr. Ayesha Ghaus while presenting the budget announced that development budget will be more than Rs 550 billion in which 142 new projects will be included.
Opposition continued to raise slogans during the speech by finance minister. Opposition members also tore apart the budget copies on the occasion. Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, however, pounded desk in appreciation.
“It has also been proposed in the budget to impose new taxes on ten items and also impose taxes on ten new services,” she said in her speech.
She said that Rs 30 billion have been allocated for projects that are operating on foreign investments, Rs 100 billion have been allocated for the Orange Line Metro Train project and roads whereas Rs 150 billion have been allocated for the Health sector. For the Power sector, the Punjab government has proposed to keep the budget at Rs 18 billion and 40 crore. For Punjab Police, Rs 94 billion has been allocated and for the Clean Water program, Rs 30 billion has been proposed.
It is also proposed in the budget to increase taxes on consultants, specialist and dental surgeons. It is expected that tax on vehicles of 1500-2000 cc will be increased by two to three percent. Rs 800 billion have been allocated for salaries whereas for communication and construction, Rs 250 billion have been allocated.
The provincial finance minister is her budget speech said Rs 50 billion is allocated for the Farmer’s package, Rs 16 billion, 86 crore and 60 lac for Urban development, Rs 12 billion, 21 crores and 90 lac for the Agriculture sector and Rs 5 billion for the expansion of Canal road in Lahore.
Dr. Ayesha Ghaus said Rs 9 billion have been allocated for repairing and construction of damaged school buildings. For the Education sector, the government has set a budget of Rs 22 billion and 62 crore whereas for the Higher Education, an amount of Rs 13 billion and 49 crore has been allocated.
“For provision of facilities in schools, a sum of Rs 6 billion has been proposed while Rs 90 crore has been allocated for the Special Education category. Rs 6 billion have been proposed for the laptop scheme,” She said.
She announced that government has decided to employ 70,000 new teachers and also upgrade 300,000 existing teachers.
Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said 88% more funds have been allocated this year for the sake of providing clean drinking water for the people of Punjab.