LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet, which met here on Monday with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair, accorded approval to budgetary proposals for the financial year 2021-22, supplementary budget of 2020-21 along with the approval of revised estimates of the current budget 2020-21 and Finance Bill 2021.

The finance secretary briefed about the budget 2021-22 details while the chairman P&D apprised the participants about the salient features of the ADP. The cabinet also approved a 10 percent increase in salaries and pensions of provincial government employees. The CM and the cabinet, however, unanimously rejected the proposal of the Board of Revenue to enhance the agriculture tax.

Addressing the meeting, the CM emphasized that the peasants will not be burdened, adding that the farming community will be made more prosperous by the PTI government. He appreciated that the cabinet has enhanced the minimum wage of workers from Rs 17,500 to Rs 20,000 and congratulated the finance minister, Advisor Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, secretary finance and others for the balanced budget.

A record increase has been made in the development budget for the first time, he said, while a separate development package has been devised for every district and realistic targets have been identified to facilitate the common man. The priorities have been identified according to the basic needs of the people, he continued. This budget is not a jugglery of words but a document of balanced development, the CM stated. A continuous liaison will be maintained with parliamentarians during the budget session, he further said. The CM said the provincial budget 2021-22 will provide substantial relief to the masses and every stratum will benefit from the fruits of development. The new budget is historic, having glad tidings of comfort for the public, he said, and added that a record increase has been made in ADP besides providing tax relief for overcoming the effects of the corona pandemic. Earlier, Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Pervaiz Elahi met with Chief Minister in the new building of the provincial assembly.

The CM felicitated Elahi for holding the maiden budget session in the new building and hoped the new building will start the new era of the parliamentary history of the provincial assembly. The PTI government provided funds on a priority basis for early completion of the new building, he said. Speaker Ch Pervaiz Elahi said the budget session in the new building has fulfilled his long-awaited dream as the project was intentionally delayed in the tenure of Shehbaz Sharif.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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