LAHORE (Staff Report) – The Punjab government has allocated over Rs400 billion to development while Rs310 for Education.
Provincial Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha presented the budget for 2015-16 in Punjab Assembly on Friday. Dr Ayesha is the first female finance minister to present the budget to the Punjab Assembly. She also presented supplementary budget statement for outgoing financial year.
This is eighth consecutive budget of the PML-N’s provincial government.
According to the official figures, Rs20b have been allocated for flood affected people of Punjab, while Rs17b have been assigned for Multan Metro.
Earlier on Friday the Punjab Assembly Cabinet had approved a Rs1.22 trillion estimated provincial budget outlay for the fiscal year. The budget allocates over Rs166 to Health, Rs400 billion to development, Rs310b to education, Rs800b to non-development expenditure, Rs31b to the power sector, Rs119b to the social sector, Rs5b to roads, and Rs39b to the services sector.
According to government officials, the annual development budget would focus on mega infrastructural projects in the road, transport and energy sectors like the Orange Metro Line for Lahore, Lahore Ring Road southern loop, an LNG-based power project, a Metro Bus project for Multan, and the Farm to Market roads project. It is expected to allocate Rs10b each for these projects during the next financial year.
A sum of Rs110 billion has been announced for 1,200 megawatt gas-fired power project in Sheikhupura for which Rs15b will be allocated in fiscal year 2015-16.
Four 150MW power projects will be set up in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad and Sialkot for which Rs90b will be allocated in the upcoming fiscal year.
Rs2.17b has been allocated for the development of iron and copper deposits, specifically in Chiniot-Rajwa. The project has been handed to a well-known Chinese company.
Rs52bn has been allocated for building new roads from farms to marketplaces to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce.
Another Rs21b 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 Rs4.98b has been allocated in the next fiscal year.
Rs930 million has been earmarked for the promotion of tourism.
A project of Rs 70 billion has been announced for safe drinking water.
RAISE IN SALARIES
Salaries for government employees have been raised by 7.5 percent.
Minimum wage increased from Rs 12,000 to 13,000.
QUOTA FOR WOMEN
15 percent quota for women employees in terms of salaries increase has been reserved.
Rs2.17 billion have been allocated for natural resources.
APNA ROZGAR SCHEME
At least 50,000 vehicles will be given under Apna Rozgar Scheme.
Earlier, the Punjab Cabinet 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 would allocate 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.