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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Punjab Assembly’s 4-day pre-budget session begins

By Our Correspondent
April 24, 2024
The Punjab Assembly building in Lahore. — Geo.tv/ file
The Punjab Assembly building in Lahore. — Geo.tv/ file

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly has commenced its pre-budget session for the fiscal year 2024-25, signaling a proactive approach to inclusive economic planning.

This four-day session, which began on Tuesday, aims to solicit valuable input from elected representatives to shape the upcoming budget. During the session, members of the assembly will participate actively, offering both written and oral suggestions. Questionnaires have been distributed to ensure comprehensive feedback, reflecting the diverse needs and perspectives of Punjab's constituencies.

Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman underscored the significance of this democratic tradition, highlighting its continuity from previous governments. He emphasised that budget formulation is not solely a governmental responsibility but a right of the people, emphasising the importance of public representation in the process.

A key challenge facing Punjab is its reliance on federal revenues, with approximately 80pc of provincial income coming from the central government. Minister Shuja-ur-Rehman emphasised the need for the province to enhance its own revenue streams and infrastructure to mitigate the impact of national economic conditions.

To address this, the government plans to implement practical measures aimed at boosting economic activity and rationalizing taxes. This approach aligns with the goal of strengthening Punjab’s financial independence and improving its infrastructure, particularly in the areas of transportation and resource management.

Crucially, the pre-budget session is open to all members of the assembly, regardless of political affiliation. Minister Shuja-ur-Rehman stressed the shared responsibility of all representatives in shaping Punjab's fiscal future.

"As elected representatives, it is our duty to ensure that the budget reflects the needs and aspirations of the people we represent," said Minister Shuja-ur-Rehman. "By actively participating in this process, we can work together to address the economic challenges and opportunities facing Punjab." The pre-budget session highlights the Punjab Assembly's commitment to inclusive decision-making and collaborative efforts to drive economic growth and prosperity for all its citizens.