Punjab To Spend Rs 337b On Development In Next FY

LAHORE, (Muzaffargarh.City – 15th Jun, 2020 ) :Provincial Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakhat said on Monday that a total of Rs 337 billion would be spent on developmental schemes/projects of various sectors during the next financial year (2020-2021). During his budget speech in the assembly session here, he said that despite huge economic challenges and dearth of resources, the government did not comprise on development programme and earmarked Rs 337 billion as development expenditure. He mentioned that on-going developmental projects would be completed on priority basis. Hashim Jawan said that out of the total Rs 337 billion development budget, Rs 97.66 billion would be spent on social sector, Rs 77.86 billion on infrastructure development, Rs 17.35 billion on production sector, Rs 45.38 billion on services sector, Rs 51.24 billion on miscellaneous sectors, Rs 47.5 billion on special programme and Rs 25 billion on the Public Private Partnership (PPP). Keeping in view the meager resources in the presence of coronavirus challenges, the government has decided to involve private sector through Innovative Financing to fulfill development needs. For this purpose, Punjab Public-Private Partnership Authority and 165 mega projects have been identified for next FY which included Lahore Ring Road (SL-4), dualisation of Multan-Vehari Road, Nulla Lie (Rawalpindi) Expressway, provision of water meters and Rawalpindi Ring Road etc. He mentioned that projects under the PPP would be exempted from Sale Tax on Services for five years. The minister told the house that Rs 15 billion were being allocated for Community Development Programme (CDP) to start labour intensive programmes, while a hefty amount was also being earmarked for on-going projects under Sustainable Development Goals Achievement Programme (SAP). Since Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have key role in economic development of Punjab, he said, an allocation of Rs 8 billion had been made for MSMEs. Besides tax exemptions, Rural Enterprises as well as reforms will also be introduced in this sector, he said and added that with this government’s intervention, an accumulative four to five times capital injection in the market was expected.

Hashim Jawan said that Rs 6.87 billion would be given to TEVTA (Technical education and Vocational Training Authority) enabling youths active participation in technical training and economic activities. Out this budget, he said, Rs 1.5 billion will be spent on Hunnarmand Nojawan Programme, while Rs 4.9 billion for Skill Development Programme. TEVTA courses will be revised to bring these at par with international standard. Improving the living standard of poor segment of society has always been top priority of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Punjab Chief Minister, he said and mentioned that Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA) budget for FY 2020-21 would be around Rs 4 billion under which Punjab Ehsas Programme (PEP) will be implemented. He said that Panagha (Shelter Houses) were being constructed at every divisional headquarters for social welfare, while two new centres were being established at Lahore and Rawalpindi to curb violence against women. Hashim Jawan said that poverty reduction and employment projects worth more than Rs 2 billion would be completed under South Punjab Poverty Alleviation Programme (PPPAP) in 10 Punjab districts ie Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, D.G.Khan, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Layya, Bhakkar, Khushab and Mianwali. Similarly, Rs 1.15 billion will be spent on Women Income Generation and Self Reliance (WINGS) Project in districts of Vehari, Chiniot, Sargodha, Pakpattan, Khanewal, Okara, Multan, Sheikhupura and Rawalpindi. An amount of Rs 5.36 billion has been set aside for Human Capital Investment Project to jack up the people living below poverty line.In an effort to make access of South Punjab’s people to government departments, establishment of SouthPunjab Secretariat consisting of 16 departments has been approved and Rs 50 billion has been earmarked in this regard. He maintained that posts of Additional Chief Secretary and Additional IG Police Punjab had been created and both the officers will be assume their respective offices from July 01, 2020.