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LAHORE: The Punjab government has proposed provincial budget 2022-23 with an outlay of over Rs 3.226 trillion, which is 22 percent higher than the current budget. Out of this amount, Rs 1,712 billion have been proposed for running expenditures while the total outlay of development budget is Rs 685 billion.

As per budget documents the total income has been estimated at Rs 2.521 trillion.

It is estimated that over Rs 2 trillion will come from the federal divisible pool. It has been estimated that more than Rs 500 billion will be collected under the head of provincial receipts which is more than 24 % as compared to last year.

It is expected that government has set the target of collection of Rs 190 billion from Punjab Revenue Authority which is 22 percent more as compared to last year.

The collection target of Rs 95 billion has been set from the Board of Revenue which has been increased by 44 %.

The government has proposed an increase of 2 percent of the excise department and set the target of collection of revenue of more than Rs 43 billion. The government has proposed an increase of 24 % in the non-tax revenue and set the target at Rs 163 billion.

The government has increased the ratio of stamp duty from 1 percent to 2 per cent.

It is pertinent to mention that the government has allocated 35 % of the total Annual Development Program for the South Punjab.

Punjab cabinet approves budget for 2022-23, ADP

It has allocated handsome amount of Rs 240 billion for different development projects in South Punjab.

He said the PML-N government attaches priority to health sector and decided to restore free medicines facility in the hospitals. An amount of Rs 470 billion has been set aside for health sector in the budget 2022-23, which is 27% higher than the previous year (2021-22) budgetary allocation of Rs 369.3 billion. An amount of Rs 296 billion has been reserved for non-development expenditures while Rs 174.5 billion have been allocated for development expenditures.

Rupees 485.26 billion have been proposed for education sector which is 10-percent higher from current year budgetary allocations.

Out of this amount, Rs 428.56 billion have been proposed for non-development budget while Rs 56.70 billion have been set aside for development expenditures.

For schools education, Rs 421.6 billion have been proposed while Rs 59.7 billion reserved for higher education.

Rupees 1.52 billion have been allocated for special education while Rs 3.59 billion have been allocated for literacy and non-formal basic education.

The Annual Develop-ment Portfolio 2022-23 has been set at Rs 685 billion.

In terms of development sectors, the highest allocation of Rs. 272.6 billion is for the social sector which includes Rs. 172.5 5 billion for health sector and Rs. 64 56 billion for education sector, Rs. 164 billion has been allocated for infrastructure development including Rs. 80.8 billion for roads sector.

Major programs/initia-tives for the FY 2022-23 include sustainable development program for South Punjab at a cost of Rs. 31.5 billion, Rs. 58.5 billion for sustainable development program, Rs. 125 billion for universal health insurance program, Rs. 1 billion for establishment of Nursing University at PKLI, Rs. 3.65 billion for the transformation of agriculture in Punjab, Rs. 4.8 billion for afternoon school program, establishment of universities in 5 major cities at a cost of Rs. 1.7 billion, Rs. 5.5 billion for the construction of additional classrooms, Rs. 10 9 billion for road maintenance rehabilitation program.

The other initiatives include provision of laptops at cost of Rs. 1.5 billion, revamping of THQ and DHQ hospitals at cost of Rs. 3.1 billion, skill development program (4.2 billion) and Punjab urban land systems enhancement (Rs. 0.5 billion).

Furthermore, the salient features of the Development Portfolio 2022-23 include economic development through public investment, inclusive and balanced regional development, transformation of agriculture sector, ensuring water and food security, human development through skills development, creating an environment conducive to mobilizing private sector resources, support for public-private partnerships, strengthening governance through information technology and bridging the gender divide.

As per the budget documents salaries of all government employees have been increased by 15% and pensions by 5%.

In addition, a special allowance has been proposed in the budget to reduce the widening gap between inflation and rising income rates.

Employees from Grade 1 to Grade 19 will be given 15% increase in basic salary.

Minimum wages will be increased from Rs. 20,000 per month to Rs 25,000 per month, Rs 435 billion have been earmarked for salaries, 312 billion for salaries and Rs 528 billion have been earmarked for local governments.

The government has allocated more than Rs 23 billion for the development of industry out of which over Rs 12 billion are marked for development projects. The government has allocated Rs 5 billion in the development budget of the energy department.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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