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LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman has said that preparations for the upcoming fiscal year's budget will commence after Eid-ul-Fitr, aligning with the party manifesto and reflecting the aspirations of the populace.

“The Punjab government remains committed to ensuring public participation in the budgetary process, underscoring its dedication to inclusive governance and the welfare of its citizens,” he said during a meeting with representatives of the social society, disclosed a ministry’s spokesman on Thursday.

Amid discussions on targeted subsidies and alternative relief measures, the minister assured the guests that the Punjab government will keep its commitment to prioritise the welfare of the people while fulfilling its obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He emphasised the government’s pledge to decrease electricity bills by facilitating the provision of solar systems. “Rigorous efforts are also underway to combat inflation through a structured approach, alongside initiatives to bolster agricultural productivity to stabilise prices of agricultural goods,” he added.

“Despite facing challenges posed by a truncated fiscal year, the government has strived to effectively allocate resources to address public concerns, including implementing the Ramadan Negahban Package. Prompt measures are being taken to address any grievances concerning the package to ensure a seamless experience for the populace during Ramadan,” he added.

According to him, education and healthcare remain focal points for the government, with initiatives such as providing free books, and scholarships, and the revitalisation of essential programmes, such as the free internet facility, laptop scheme, and personal transportation. The expansion of the health card programme, inspired by the Nawaz Sharif Health Insurance Programme, aims to extend benefits to deserving individuals. Furthermore, projects such as the air ambulance service, modelled after the exemplary metro bus service, aim to enhance healthcare accessibility across Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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