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Punjab unveils over Rs2trillion budget for remaining eight months of FY 18-19

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht on Tuesday presented an over Rs2.026trillion budget for remaining eight months of fiscal year 2018-19, ARY News reported.

The provincial finance minister, during his budget speech, lamented that the previous government’s corruption and shortsightedness resulted in a financial crisis which forced the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to present a “corrective budget”.

He lamented that the PML-N government allocated only Rs144billion for education and health while Rs165billion were allocated only for “Orange Line Metro Train”  in the past year but PTI’s priorities are different.

“This Orange Line Train project’s estimated cost has now risen up to Rs250billion, my question is that a province which has 9million of its children out of school and has three hospitals on its bed should waste money on cosmetic development projects?,” asked Jawan Bakht.

The finance minister informed the house that the total budget outlay is Rs2,026.51 billion with Rs148billion as surplus.

Receipts

As per the estimates provided by the federal government, Punjab government will receive an amount
of Rs1,276billion as federal divisible pool share during FY 2018-19. This would be 12.7% higher
compared to revised estimates of Rs.1,132.550 billion during FY 2017-18.
Tax collection by the government during FY 2018-19 is estimated at Rs275.78 billion. Major increase in provincial revenue is expected from Sales Tax on Services and Urban Immovable Property Tax. Both taxes have high growth potential through expansion of tax base and effective enforcement.

Education

The government has allocated Rs373billion on Education sector which means a Rs28billion increase in the budget allocated for the sector last year.
“The government also understands that in order to reform the Education Sector, it has to develop its
foundations and in response has allocated Rs25 Billion for the development of School Education
against Rs5billion allocated for the province’s Higher Education Sector,” said Hashim Jawan Bakht.

Health

Punjab government has allocated Rs284billion for health sector which is 14 percent of the total budget which is a six percent increase in the amount allocated for health sector last year.

The provincial finance minister also announced the introduction of “Sehat Ka Insaf” cards in the province to ensure everyone can afford expensive medical treatment.

Environment

Pakistan is ranked in the top 10 countries most likely to be affected by climate change, the
government has allocated Rs1.2 Billion for the improvement of Environmental Governance and promotion of Green Investment to improve conservation efforts.

The government has also prioritized the development of the province’s water resources and has allocated Rs20.5billion for Water Supply and Sanitation and Rs19.5billion for Irrigation.

E-governance

In order to encourage e-governance through automation of systems and business processes, and with
a view to support system strengthening in all local governments, Government of the Punjab has
launched an ambitious plan to implement “Automated Financial Management and Monitoring
System (AFMMS)”.

The AFMMS system will be user-friendly, robust and secure. It will focus on capturing budget, expenditures and revenue collection and will result in real time financial reporting to provincial government especially in the ensuing new local government setup.

The project is being implemented through a collaborative effort of Finance Department, LG&CD Department and Local Fund Audit Department.

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