AJK unveils Rs139 billion budget for FY2020-21
MUZAFFARABAD – The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government on Thursday presented a tax free budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 amounting to over 139 billion rupees.
Presenting the budget at Legislative Assembly in Muzaffarabad on Thursday, Minister for Finance Dr. Najeeb Naqi said that total revenue has been projected over Rs118 billion while the ongoing expenses have been estimated as Rs115 billion.
Some 72 percent funds of the ADP have been proposed for the ongoing while 28 percent for the new schemes, while 199 schemes would be accomplished during the next financial year.
The minister said projecting Kashmir cause, maintaining good governance and achieving sustainable development are three top most priorities of the AJK government.
He thanked the federal government for allocating funds for the development of liberated territory in spite of financial constraints.
A project costing over Rs3.64 billion for the people affected by Indian firing has been incorporated in the federal development program. About 3 billion rupees has been proposed for the ongoing schemes under the Ministry for Kashmir Affairs.
Total income for the fiscal year 2020/21 has been estimated Rs. 115 billion compared to the current fiscal years estimate of Rs. 97 billion which shrunk to Rs. 94 billion in the revised estimates of current fiscal year presented in the house.
Current expenditures for the coming fiscal year are estimated Rs. 115 billion same as estimates of income and the development expenditures of Rs. 24.5 would be provided from federal government in the form of grants.
The government itself would collect Rs. 28.5 billion out of which Rs20.6 billion in the head of Income Tax and Rs7.9 billion in the head of other taxes and share from FBR taxes is estimated Rs70 billion, Rs19.9 billion are estimated from the state revenue and Rs670 million in the head of use charges from the federal government.
A huge amount of Rs28.88 billion has been allocated for education department; Rs22 billion has been allocated for the payment of pension to retired employees, Rs10 billion has been allocated for health department, an amount of Rs16.524 billion has been allocated in the head of miscellaneous expenditures (grants) while Rs8.762 billion has been allocated for electricity department.
In the development expenditures, the biggest amount of Rs10.2 billion has been allocated for roads and communication network, more than Rs2.57 for education, Rs2.795 for local government and rural development, Rs2.155 billion for housing and physical planning, Rs1.7 billion for power development and one billion rupees for development schemes of health department.
The finance minister informed the house that federal Ministry of Kashmir affairs will also spend Rs2.92 billion on ongoing development schemes in the region during the coming fiscal year.
Dr. Naqi further said that in addition to this development portray, a scheme worth Rs 3.64 billion has also been added in federal government’s annual development program for the rehabilitation of the people affected by Indian firing on line of control (LOC).
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Giving the breakthrough of development schemes to implemented during the coming fiscal year, he said second phase of divisional headquarter hospital in Mirpur comprising 500 beds and a general hospital in Rawalakot comprising 200 beds would be completed during the fiscal year.
The Tehsil headquarter hospital at Pathika (Naseerbad) would also be completed during the coming fiscal year besides construction of a hostel for doctors and nurses in Haveeli district, Tehsil headquarter hospitals comprising 30 beds at Leepa and Sharda, a cardiac hospital in Muzaffarabad and a cardiac centre alongside district headquarter hospital Bagh.
The finance minister further said that reconditioning of 640 kilometers roads in region including those linking the territory with Pakistan was underway during the current fiscal year and would be completed during the coming fiscal year.
During the current fiscal year, he added, 1450 kilometers links roads have been constructed or reconditioned while 725 kilometers more link roads in the rural areas would be constructed or reconditioned during the coming fiscal year while feasibility of a highway linking all south and east region was also part of the coming fiscal year development budget.
For ensuring the availability of basic amenities to the people in the rural areas, community infrastructure program will continue to be implemented during the coming fiscal year besides electrification schemes while 3 power generation schemes of 4.1 megawatt had been completed during the current fiscal year and work on projects of 127 megawatt would continue during the coming fiscal year.
A sum of Rs200 million has been allocated for provision of emergency services and free medicines in the hospitals to general public during the coming fiscal year while Rs200 million had been allocated in the coming fiscal year budget for COVID–19 patients compared to the 220 million rupees of revised current budget.
The minister said education sector has been given the priority in the coming fiscal year budget and work on construction of 40 high and 10 middle schools in the region would continue during the coming fiscal year while allocation had also been made in the budget for construction of 30 middle and 30 primary new school buildings.
He said 24% development budget of education sector had been allocated for the higher education and e-learning facilities would be provided in the colleges besides provision of buses to students while construction of the building of 14 inter and degree colleges will be continue during the coming fiscal year.
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