–Caretaker finance minister says Punjab’s revenue generation increased by 16pc for FY 2018-19
LAHORE: Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi on Tuesday said the caretaker government had presented a four-month budget for the year 2018-19 in accordance with the constitutional requirements.
Presiding a meeting of the provincial cabinet at the Chief Minister’s Office, he said the interim government had made an effort to provide necessary relief to the people while staying within the limited mandate and constitutional responsibilities.
“Funds for education, healthcare, agriculture and social sectors have been increased… We have to serve the people of the province while remaining within the mandate,” he said, adding that all decisions were being made with the consultation of the cabinet and the budget had also been approved with consensus.
Earlier, the meeting approved the proposal for ten per cent increase in the salaries of government employees besides approving to review house rent. The meeting accorded an approval to ten per cent increase in the pension of retired government employees as well.
Allocations were proposed to be increased by 28.6 per cent in school education, 38.6 per cent in Primary & Secondary Healthcare and 25.8 per cent in Specialised Healthcare & Medical Education.
Performance of the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) was also appreciated in the meeting that was attended by the Punjab chief secretary, inspector general of police and other senior officials concerned.
It is pertinent to note that under Article 126 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the caretaker Cabinet can authorise expenditure of 4 months from the provincial consolidated fund.
‘PUNJAB’S REVENUE GENERATION INCREASED BY 16% FOR FY 2018-19’:
Separately, Caretaker Minister for Finance Zia Haider Rizvi said that revenue generation by the provincial government (tax and non-tax) increased by 16% to Rs359 billion for fiscal year 2018-19 as compared to last year.
Speaking to media representatives after approval of the interim budget, he said that development and non-development expenditures had been fixed for four months on pro-rata basis. However, there were certain front loaded expenditures that had been catered for in the next year four-month expenditure authorisation. “The expenditures include those of elections and natural calamities such as flood and dengue etc.”
He further said that there was an increase of 21.6 per cent in salaries as compared to previous year and pension had been increased by 31.5 per cent while PFC had been increased by 27.8 per cent.
“Unnecessary expenditures have been controlled during the next four months so as to control the budget deficit,” he said, adding that ADP was likely to reduce due to the increase in the service delivery expenditures, salaries and pension.
“Moreover, important decisions on the development side have been deferred for the elected government,” he concluded.