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Tribal areas to get Insaf Health Cards

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to extend its Insaf Health card scheme to other provinces and allocated an amount for the purpose in supplementary budget.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Asad Umar on Tuesday while presenting supplementary Finance Bill 2018 said, “We will provide Rs 540,000 per family in the form of Sehat Insaf Card for doctors’ fees and medicines in former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Islamabad”.

Umar said that the Punjab government had also been instructed to introduce the facility in that province as well.

He expressed his optimism while commenting that Baluchistan and Sindh provincial governments were expected to replicate the health card scheme to extend this public welfare project across the country.

The minister alsosaid 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 Petroleum Development Levy worth 100 billion rupees as envisaged in the current budget has been withdrawn for the benefit of the people, said Umar.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.

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.

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