LAHORE: The Punjab government on Monday presented its tax-free budget for next fiscal year 2020-21 with an outlay of Rs2,240.7 billion.
Provincial Finance Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht presented the budget during Provincial Assembly session in Lahore. Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi chaired the session.
In his budget speech, the provincial finance minister said that an overall amount of 337 billion rupees was being allocated for Annual Development Program for next fiscal year. Under this program, Rs97.66 billions were allocated for social sector, 77.86 billion rupees for infrastructure development, 17.35 billion rupees for production sector, 45.38 billion rupees for services sector, 51.24 billion rupees for other sectors, 47.50 billion rupees for Special Program while Rs25 billion for Public Private Partnership.
He said that collections’ revenue worth 4,963 billion rupees from Federal Divisional Pool was expected while Punjab would be provided 1,433 billion rupees under the NFC Award during next fiscal year. He said that a target of 317 billion rupees had been fixed for Own-Resources Revenue.
He said that special funds on priority basis have been allocated for eleven important sectors including education, health and employment generation.
Hashim Jawan announced the biggest Tax Relief Package of provincial history for business community which will also provide relief to public as well. Under this package, tax rate on health insurance and doctors’ consultancy fees and hospitals will be made zero from current rate of 16% and 5% respectively.
He said that tax rate on more than twenty services including small hotels, guests houses, marriage halls, laws, caterers, IT services, tour operators will be brought down from 16% to 5%. He said that current rate of Stamp Duty rate will be brought down from 5% to 1% during next fiscal year which will help in promoting construction industry and create new job opportunities.
In his budget speech, the Punjab finance minister said that provincial government has decided to include the private sector to meet its development needs through innovating financing.
He said that Punjab Public Partnership Authority has been setup which has identified mega projects worth 165 Billion rupees for next fiscal year. These projects include Lahore Ring Road Phase 4, Multan Vehari Dual Road, Nala Layi Expressway, Rawalpindi Ring Road and provision of Water Meters.
Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said that fifteen billion rupees are being allocated for Community Development Program. He said that eight billion rupees are being allocated for development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. He said that an allocation worth 6.87 Billion rupees has been made for Technical and Vocational Education Authority out of which Hundermand Jawan Program is being launched at a cost of 1.50 Billion rupees.
Punjab Finance Minister said that a huge amount of 284.2 Billion rupees has been allocated for health sector for next fiscal year.
He said that government is utilizing all available resources to tackle Covid-19 pandemic and an overall amount of 13 Billion rupees has been fixed to control this pandemic.
He said that Health Insaf Card Program has been expanded to whole province and health cards have been so far distributed amongst five million families.
Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said that more than 391 Billion rupees are being allocated for education sector. Out of it, 350.10 Billion rupees will be spent on School Education Department which will ensure provision of scholarships to more than five lack female students and free text books for all.