'Punjab Budget Focuses On Social Protection, HR Development, Regional Equality' : Jawan Bakhat

'Punjab budget focuses on social protection, HR development, regional equality' : Jawan Bakhat

Provincial Finance Minister Makhdum Hashim Jawan Bakhat said on Friday that the provincial budget 2019-20, having total outlay of Rs 2,300.57 billion, has greater focus on social protection, human resource development and regional equalisation

LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Jun, 2019 ) :Provincial Finance Minister Makhdum Hashim Jawan Bakhat said on Friday that the provincial budget 2019-20, having total outlay of Rs 2,300.57 billion, has greater focus on social protection, human resource development and regional equalisation.

In his budget speech on the floor of the house here, the minister mentioned that above three priorities were also part of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's manifesto. He said, "We have tried our best that the budget document ensures bright future of the people of Punjab as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, instead of mere jagulary of words." Hashim Jawan said that the provincial budget 2019-20 was based on Punjab Growth Strategy 2018-23, providing leading principles to the Punjab government for the next five years. Under the Punjab Growth Strategy, he added, the provincial government had introduced new policies in sectors of labour, agriculture, industry, tourism and environment, besides initiating public welfare and social protection projects including establishment of Panagah (Shelter homes) for helpless people, construction of low-cost houses, Sehat Insaf Card, construction and repair of rural roads, measures to enhance agri yields and ease of doing business.

The finance minister said that the PTI government had the credit of activating local government system within short span of eight months and ensured devolution of power at grass root level, which would prove to be a game changer in real sense.

Everybody knew, he said, the PTI had strongly been objecting to wastage of public money by the then government during its election campaign, and soon after coming to government, PTI Chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan and his entire team started austerity drive from their selves. He cited that Federal cabinet had cut 10 per cent of their salary voluntarily, while the armed forces also did not increase their expenditures. Similarly, the Punjab Chief Minister and his cabinet also reduced their salaries and other expenditures.

Continuing firmly with austerity drive, he said, the current expenditure had been increased 2.7 per cent only in the budget 2019-20, which was lowest increase in current expenditures in the history of Punjab. Like the current fiscal year, a sum of Rs 233 billion was being set aside as surplus in the FY 2019-20 that would not only help reduce national budget deficit but would also be available for achieving the revenue target of the next FY.

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