Punjab finance minister decries pandemic’s dent on revenue collection, expenditures | Pakistan Today

Punjab finance minister decries pandemic’s dent on revenue collection, expenditures

–Various systematic changes to take place for control of provincial expenditures

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected Punjab’s revenue collection and expenditures while the provincial government is unable to make expenditures estimates for the next fiscal year.

He was chairing a special meeting of the Chief Minister’s Standing Committee for Finance here on Wednesday in order to brief the cabinet about the difficulties beg faced by Punjab to prepare the budget 2020-21. The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal, Senior Minister Aleem Khan, Law Minister Raja Basharat, Advisor to Chief Minister Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik, Finance Secretary Abdullah Sumbal, Chairman Planning and Development Board Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh and other officials concern.

The provincial finance minister said that the government plans to raise funds from public sector assets of the next fiscal year to increase indigenous resources, besides considering a mini-budget in the mid of the next fiscal year if the pandemic comes under control.

He also informed ending the subsidy culture along with implementing the public private partnership projects for the allocation of more resources for the development projects.

Punjab is spending Rs46 billion annually on different subsidies while the province saves Rs60 billion by controlling non-development expenditures during the year.

According to the details, an increase in retirement age, as well as matters related to voluntary retirement schemes, and unnecessary appointments are under consideration to control the current expenditure.

During the meeting, Dr Salman Shah stressed the need for improving the efficiency and performance of the government departments for better implementation on the annual development plan.

He requested the chief secretary to resolve public department matters on public private partnership programmes as the projects are stuck with various government institutions and suggested fixing a timeline for each department to follow in order to meet targets on time.

The meeting also discussed hiring in the public private partnership authority, special corona allowances for frontline people and recommended allowances for frontline workers only.