— Cash-strapped govt plans to attract voters with 17 key initiatives worth Rs 80b
— Rs1150 allocated for development schemes for Parliamentarians to help attract voters
ISLAMABAD: With an eye on the election year, the federal government is all set to present budget with an outlay of Rs 14 trillion today (Friday) in the National Assembly.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will present the budget in the National Assembly scheduled to meet at 4pm today. Sources said that the government has proposed Rs1150 billion Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) to help the coalition parties win the upcoming election.
The Federal government has decided to undertake 17 important initiatives in next year’s PSDP to lure the votes in upcoming general election. Sources said that the Shahbaz-led government plans lure voters with these initiatives worth Rs 80 billion to attract the voters.
The inititaives included Prime Minister’s Initiatives for Solar Tube Wells, Prime Minister’s Youth Program for Small Loans, Pakistan Endowment Fund for Education, Prime Minister’s Initiatives Support for IT Start-ups and Venture Capital, Prime Minister’s Initiatives for Women Empowerment, Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme, Prime Minister’s Green Revolution 2.0, Prime Minister’s Youth Skill Development, Prime Minister’s Initiative for Sports, Prime Minister’s Hepatitis-C Control Program, National Program for Prevention of Diabetes, National MultiSectoral Nutrition Program, Establishment of Governance Innovation Lab, Women on Wheels, Establishment of National Fund for Addressing the Crisis of Out of School Children, One Stop Service Centre for Special Economic Zone, and Construction of Faiz Ahmed Faiz Complex Flood Protection Sector Program (FPSP-III).
Sources said that the government has also allocated Rs90 billion development budget for parliamentarians in next year. Sources said that the government may increase the government employees pay and pension upto 20 percent but the final decision will be taken by the PM today in the cabinet meeting.
The Pakistan People Party (PPP) has already asked the PM to raise government employee salaries by 50percent. Sources also said that the Finance Minister has given approval to set Rs9.2 trillion tax revenue target of the Federal Board of Revenue for next fiscal year. The government may announce incentives for the IT, construction and agriculture sector in next year’s budget.
On the other hand, the government has also proposed to increase the Petroleum Development levy from Rs50 to Rs60 per litre. A Rs10 per litre hike in the levy is estimated to generate Rs870 billion.
The Federal government is likely to impose withholding tax on above Rs50,000 banking transactions in next year’s budget. Sources said that the Federal Board of Revenue has proposed to impose 0.6percent WHT on non filers on banking transactions in next year’s budget. Whereas, there would be no tax on filers for cash withdrawal.