Rs 490 bn Punjab budget today
By Jawwad Rizvi
LAHORE; The Punjab government will present about a Rs 490 billion tax free budget on Tuesday (today) with a development outlay of around Rs 182 billion.
The News has learnt that the government will exempt the stamp duty from the transfers of inherit properties, which came under the stamp duty in the last budget. The government is also considering levying entertainment tax on cinemas. To present the budget 2009-10, the government has called the assembly session on Monday.
The Punjab government had allocated Rs 160 billion for its development programme in the fiscal year 2008-09 which were later slashed to Rs 155 billion. The government claims it has distributed Rs 152 billion under the annual development programme (ADP), and out of which Rs 135 billion would be consumed at the closure of this financial year 2008-09. Thus an increase of almost 18 per cent would be made in the development outlay of the province, increasing the development activities. The total outlay of the provincial budget was Rs 389 billion, thus an increase of almost Rs 100 billion will be made in it.
It is expected that the Punjab government will get around Rs 350 billion as federal direct transfers from the NFC share and other transfers compared to the last year Rs 284 billion. However, the government had failed to meet the domestic revenue generation target of Rs 40 billion and able to collect Rs 24 billion. Thus, in this budget, the provincial government is again banking upon the federal government direct transfers and no new avenue will be opened to increase the indigenous resources.
Due to economic recession and the deteriorating law and order situation, no privatisation is expected in the next fiscal year. It has been learnt that the government has allocated a huge amount for infrastructure development, law and order and development. The allocation of funds to the local government will be around Rs 128 billion.
The government has allocated Rs 3 billion as provincial development programme and in total it has allocated Rs 9 billion for the local government and the community development programme.
The allocation for the social sector development programme is over Rs 66 billion, which included around Rs 12 billion for health. A slight cut had been made in the allocation for the education sector. Over Rs 50 billion allocated for the infrastructure development and the Lahore Ring Road would be the one of the biggest infrastructure development project this year.
At least Rs 22 billion would be allocated for the Punjab Food Support Programme, Rs 8 billion for sasti roti scheme, Rs 3 billion for the provision of free health facilities and health insurance scheme will be introduced with this amount. The government will give around Rs 43 billion to police for maintaining and improving law and order in the province.
Source: The News