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Business Economy Pakistan Punjab Trending Now

Punjab Govt. Presents Tax-Free Budget with 25% Salary and 15% Pension Increase

Lahore: The Punjab government has presented a historic tax-free budget for the province, which includes a 25% increase in salaries for government employees and a 15% increase in pensions.

Provincial Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman presented the largest tax-free surplus budget in Punjab’s history to the Punjab Assembly after cabinet approval. In his budget speech, he stated that development in Punjab has commenced, and this is the government’s first tax-free surplus budget.

He mentioned that Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif has focused on tackling inflation and conducted rapid operations against adulteration, profiteering, and hoarding, which helped control inflation.

The provincial finance minister revealed that the total volume of this budget is PKR 5,446 billion, with an estimated revenue of PKR 4,643.40 billion and PKR 842 billion allocated for development expenditures. Additionally, 77 new mega projects are included in the annual development plan.

Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman highlighted that the current revenue target is set at PKR 960 billion, which the province will collect from its own sources. The budget proposes increasing the minimum wage from PKR 32,000 to PKR 37,000. The government will also provide free solar systems to those consuming up to 100 units of electricity.

He announced the introduction of the largest farmer-friendly package in the country’s history, including the establishment of model agricultural malls across Punjab at a cost of PKR 1.25 billion and the issuance of livestock cards at a cost of PKR 2 billion. Easy installment loans for dairy farming will be provided to farmers in rural areas.

Key Points of the Provincial Budget:

  • Total budget volume: PKR 5,446 billion.
  • No new taxes or increases in existing tax rates.
  • Revenue target set at PKR 960 billion.
  • PKR 842 billion allocated for development budget.
  • Salaries of provincial employees to increase by 20-25%.
  • Pensions to increase by 15%.
  • Proposal to increase minimum wage from PKR 32,000 to PKR 37,000.
  • Launch of an undergraduate scholarship program at a cost of PKR 2.5 billion.
  • Establishment of Garment City for the promotion of the textile industry at a cost of PKR 3 billion.
  • PKR 539.55 billion allocated for the health sector.
  • Launch of an environment-friendly bus service in five major cities of Punjab at a cost of PKR 49 billion.
  • Introduction of Chief Minister Himat Card program for disabled people at a cost of PKR 2 billion.
  • Launch of a skill development program for the transgender community at a cost of PKR 1 billion.
  • Launch of air ambulance service at a cost of PKR 450 million.
  • PKR 130 billion allocated for social protection.

Earlier, a provincial cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz approved the PKR 5,446 billion budget, and the Chief Minister signed the budget documents for 2024-25. According to the documents, no new taxes were imposed, and no increase in existing tax rates was made. Revenue will be increased by 53% through financial sources without raising taxes.

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