Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat on Tuesday declared that improvement in economic indicators helped the Punjab government devise a growth-oriented budget for fiscal year 2021-22 in line with the PTI manifesto.
“This is the first budget of the present government which is aligning to the PTI manifesto in three years as the government is clearing the baggage and financial indiscipline created by the previous PML-N government in the province.”
Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat was addressing a post-budget conference here Chief Minister’s House on Tuesday.
The minister was flanked with Punjab Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik, Secretary Finance Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Chairman Planning and Development Abdullah Sanbal, Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) Zainul Abidn Sahi and other officials concerned.
The minister said that economic growth was 3.94 percent in ongoing fiscal year and hoped that the government policy will increase it to above 4 percent in the next fiscal year.
Furthermore, the government had given Rs2.5 trillion relief package during the covidi-19 pandemic and provided financial assistance to the 45 percent of population under Ehsas Program.
Similarly, Rs 80 billion subsidy was given on wheat to offset the inflationary pressure from flour (staple food) as the support price of wheat was increased to Rs1800 per maund from Rs1400/maund.
The government is closely monitoring the rise in global food prices and allocated resource to keep minimal impact of it to domestic consumer, he added.
Hashim highlighting the salient features of the budget pointed out that the government increased the Annual Development Program (ADP) size by 66 percent in this fiscal year targeting to Rs 560 billion from ongoing fiscal year.
The government has not increased the ADP budget but also planned how to ensure maximum utilization of it.
For this, it has planned to released Rs 100 billion in the month of July while all development schemes announced in the development budget will be completed in maximum two years.
In the next fiscal year focus will be on completing ongoing projects rather than starting the new projects. new ones.
Appreciating the performance of the PRA, the minister said that PRA is only provincial revenue collecting agency in Pakistan which registered a tremendous annual growth of 29 percent till May.
Further, the target of PRA for the next financial year has been increased without increasing tax rate.
On the contrary, the expansion of tax net and innovation in the tax collection system are on the rise.