The Punjab Government presented a budget of Rs 1,447.2 billion for the fiscal year 2015-16 on Friday. Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) has presented record eighth consecutive budget in the Punjab assembly. The budget session was chaired by speaker Rana Iqbal Khan and the budget was presented by recently appointed finance minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus.
According to the budget read out by the provincial minister, the Punjab government is aiming to collect more than Rs 160 billion from taxes and other sources.
The government has allocated more than 400 billion rupees for development works compared to last year’s Rs. 345b, an increase of more than 55b. A total of Rs 733 billion has been allocated for the non-development projects.
A total increase of 7.5 percent will be made in salaries and pensions of Punjab government employees with the minimum wage of the private sector workers set at Rs 13000.
This year, the Punjab government has allocated a total of 310 billion for the education sector. Apart from education, major portion of the budget will also be spent on health and rural development projects. A total of Rs 166bn are allocated for health, Rs 117 billion for rural development and Rs 87 billion are allocated for the provincial police department.
The Punjab government has also proposed Rs 31 billion to end the power crisis and Rs 17 billion to develop the Multan metro bus project. Punjab Government has also allocated Rs 2 billion for the development of education sector and cardiac hospital in Baluchistan province.
Dr Ayesha also announced that government would provide jobs to one million youth by 2018. The Minister said that special focus has been given on the rural development. She said various energy projects are underway at a cost of 618 billion rupees to minimize the power crisis.
Earlier, the Punjab Cabinet has approved the budget proposals for the next fiscal year at a meeting held in Lahore with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the Chair. The Chief Minister said the government will allocated ample funds in the budget for development of all areas of the province. He said focus has been laid on health, education, energy, clean drinking water and construction of roads in rural areas.