Punjab govt presents Rs5.4 trillion ‘tax-free’ budget

LAHORE:  Punjab Finance Minister Shujaur Rehman presented the provincial ‘tax-free’ budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 with a total outlay of 5.44 trillion amid protest by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

The finance minister laid before the House Rs 5446 billion budget with a surplus Rs 630 billion. He said that 77 new mega projects will be launched under the annual development plan.

Just like the centre, the Punjab government also proposed a raise of up to 25 percent its employees’ salaries while the pension of retired employees is proposed to be raised by 15 percent. The workers’ minimum wage has been proposed to be raised Rs 37,000 from Rs 32,000.

In his budget speech, Shujaur Rehman claimed that no new taxes are imposed while existing taxes are not increased in the budget.

According to the budget documents, Rs 6 billion is earmarked for laptop scheme, Rs 5 billion endowment fund, Rs 268 billion for supplementary grants, Rs 26 billion for the supplementary budget statement of the financial year 2023-24, Rs 26 billion rupees for agricultural equipment, and Rs 10 billion Kisan card.

Similarly, the Punjab government fixed Rs 30 billion for CM green tractor program, Rs 80 billion for CM district SGD program, Rs 2 billion for livestock card, Rs 2 billion for Himmat and Nighaban card, and Rs 26 billion for restructuring education project.

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