News Column

Punjab budget progressive, growth-oriented: Mujtaba

June 15, 2014

Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman said the Rs.1,044 billion Punjab budget for year 2014-15 was surplus, progressive and growth-oriented.

Addressing a post-budget press conference here on Saturday, he said that huge foreign investment in different sectors was expected during the next fiscal due to which financial resources of the province would improve.

He said that wealthy people would be brought into the tax net and an austerity campaign under which a 30% cut on expenditures of CM's House, ministers and government departments had been made would continue in the next fiscal year.

A ban on purchasing new vehicles and renovation of government offices would continue during the next fiscal year .

Subsidy on green tractors has been withdrawn and Rs 5. billion subsidy would be granted on fertiliser by the provincial government. A matching amount of subsidy would be given by the federal government as well, he added.

The minister said that Bank of Punjab's recovery rate of loans for the yellow cab scheme was above 99 percent. No bank has defaulted due to the yellow cab scheme, he added.

He said that loans would be given for 50,000 yellow cabs and loaders during the next fiscal and the scheme would also be extended to rural areas.

"About Rs 5 billion have been allocated in the budget for holding local bodies elections in the province".

Funds have also been allocated for the under-construction building of Punjab Assembly," he added.

To a question, he said that an amount of Rs. 3 billion was expected from tax on luxury cars and bungalows. He said that token tax for 1000 to 1300 cc vehicles had not been increased. "An amount of Rs. 1000 million is expected from agriculture income tax during the next fiscal," he added.

He said that steps were being taken to further improve working of Punjab Revenue Authority to control tax theft and increase recoveries.

He said that an 8 percent growth rate was expected in the province during the next four years. He said that for the first time in the province 36 percent allocations of the budget had been made for South Punjab.

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Source: Balochistan Times (Pakistan)

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