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Govt shuns budgetary cut on CPEC, Bhasha dam

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance, Asad Umar has said that no cut in development budget for projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Diamer-Bhasha dam and Higher Education Commission was proposed in the supplementary budget.

Presenting the supplementary budget in the National Assembly, the minister said the government proposed to slash around Rs 250 billion on the development projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 to Rs 725 billion.

The previous government allocated Rs 23 billion for Diamer-Bhasha dam and Rs 46 billion for various development projects of HEC under PSDP 2018-19.

Meanwhile, the Minister said foreign debts had also surged to 95 billion dollar from 60 billion dollar.

The Finance Minister also announced some relief measures for different segments of society. Petroleum Development Levy worth 100 billion rupees as envisaged in the current budget has been withdrawn for the benefit of the people, said Umar.

“Regulatory duty imposed by the previous government in the budget on 82 tariff lines has been abolished for raw material meant for export related industries.”

This would involve relief of five billion rupee for the industry.

It has been decided to launch Insaf Health Card scheme in the Federal Territory and formerly FATA on the pattern of KPK.

Asad Omar said there would be no reduction in the exemption limit for income tax.

Similarly, existing tax rate on income slab between Rs 1.2 and 2.4 million would also be retained.  However, income tax rate for higher income slabs would be 25 percent and 29 percent, the minister added.

Asad Omar said the Government had decided to withdraw tax exemption for prime minister, Governors, ministers in respect of accommodation, conveyance and sumptuary allowance.

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