Highlights of Punjab Budget 2015-16

The Punjab government on Friday presented a Rs 1,447.2 billion proposed annual budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 before the provincial Assembly on Friday.

According to details of the budget read out by the provincial finance minister, the provincial government is eyeing a revenue target of Rs160bn from provincial taxes and other sources.

Among the major head included in the budget statement, the government has allocated Rs 400 billion for development works – a Rs 55bn increase from last year – and Rs 733 billion for non-developmental expenditure.

Salaries & Pension

The government has proposed a 7.5 percent increase in salaries and pensions of Punjab government employees, while it has set the proposed minimum wage of private sector workers to Rs 13,000.

Education

Among major allocation heads, the finance minster said the provincial government has set aside Rs 310-bn or 27 percent of the total budget for education.

  • Rs 166-billion have been allocated for health.
  • Rs 117-billion go for rural development.
  • Rs 105-billion are being allocated for expenditure on construction of roads and bridges.
  • Rs 87-billion allocated for the provincial police department.

Separately, the Punjab government is proposing Rs 31 billion to end the power crisis, and Rs 17 billion to develop the Multan metro bus project.

The Punjab government has also allocated Rs 2 billion for the development of a cardiac hospital and education in Balochistan province.

Agriculture

Rs52bn has been allocated in FY15-16 for the building of new roads from farms to marketplaces to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce.

Another Rs21bn has been set aside for the improvement of irrigation systems in Punjab under the Punjab Irrigated Agricultural Productivity Improvement project, in which 120,000 acres will be irrigated through drip sprinklers and 7,000 water courses will be renovated ─ for which Rs4.98bn has been allocated in FY15-16.

Rs8bn of the provincial budget has been allocated to livestock.

Earlier, the Punjab cabinet approved the budget proposals for the next fiscal year at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore.

The chief minister said the government has 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.

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