Punjab Rs2.24tr ‘progressive, pro-business’ budget

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Tax rate on 20 services will be brought down
Observer Report

Rs391b allocated for education sector Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Javan Bakht on Monday presented the budget 2020-21 in the Punjab Assembly with a total outlay of Rs2.2407 trillion.
In his budget speech, Provincial Finance Minister said that an overall amount of 337 billion rupees is being allocated for Annual Development Program for next fiscal year. Under this program, 97.66 billions rupees have been allocated for social sector, 77.86 billion rupees for infrastructure development, 17.35 billion rupees for production sector, 45.38 billion rupees for services sector, 51.24 billion rupee for other sectors, 47.50 billion rupees for Special Program while 25 billion rupees for Public Private Partnership.
He said that special funds on priority basis have been allocated for eleven important sectors including education, health and employment generation.
The provincial government has proposed to allocate Rs8.73 billion for the forest department. Furthermore, Rs13.30 billion has been allocated for the livestock sector, meanwhile, Rs31.73bn has been allocated for agriculture sector.
“The provincial tax collection record an increase of 13 percent, whereas, Rs144bn were distributed among the needy under the Ehsaas Program,” said Bakht. A sum of Rs391 billion have been allocated for education sector and Rs 3 billion have been allocated for Danis schools. A handsome amount of money has been allocated for the upgradation f schools, while, Rs37 billion have been allocated for the higher education.Over 1 billion have been allocated for Hunnermand Program, while Rs 6.87 billion have been allocated for vocational training of youth.
A total of Rs2 billion have been allocated for religious tourism and setting up new tourist centers, whereas, the salary budget has been frozen at Rs337.60bn.
The entertainment duty rate is proposed to be reduced from 20pc to 5pc. All cinemas are proposed to be exempted from entertainment duty till June 30, 2021.
A total of Rs 337 billion has been allocated for the development budget for the next financial year. Rs 97.66 billion has been earmarked for the social sector in the annual development program, whereas, Rs 77.86 billion has been allocated for infrastructure development. A sum of Rs 17.35 billion has been allocated for the production sector and Rs. 45.38 billion for the services sector, whereas, Rs 51.24 billion has been allocated for other sectors. A total of Rs 47.50 billion has been earmarked for special programs, informed the minister whereas, Rs 25 billion has been allocated for the Public Private Partnership.
Hashim Jawan Bakht said the provincial government has allocated Rs106 billion for the Covid-19 pandemic, whereas, Rs284 billion has been reserved for the health sector.
“The provincial tax collection record an increase of 13 percent, whereas, Rs144bn were distributed among the needy under the Ehsaas Program,” said Bakht.
He said that the government has allocated Rs13.30 billion has been allocated for the livestock sector, meanwhile, Rs31.73bn has been allocated for the agriculture sector.
He said that collections revenue worth 4963 Billion Rupees from Federal Divisional Pool is expected while Punjab will be provided 1433 Billion Rupees under NFC Award during next fiscal year. He said that a target of 317 Billion Rupees has been fixed for Own-Resources Revenue.
Finance Minister announced the biggest Tax Relief Package of provincial history for business community which will also provide relief to public as well. Under this package, tax rate on health insurance and doctors consultancy fees and hospitals will be made zero from current rate of 16% and 5% respectively.