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June 18, 2019

Punjab budget


June 18, 2019

In conformity with the overall strategy of the PTI-led government to spur economic growth and development in Punjab, the largest federating unit of Pakistan, it has recently presented an ambitious Punjab budget. The budget promises to create 1.25 million jobs on average in five years and outlays Rs350 billion for the development sector. Budget 2019-20, based on the Punjab Growth Strategy 2018-23, envisages a huge sum of money for infrastructure development, transport, irrigation, agriculture, water supply besides energy projects. The budget allocates Rs125 billion for the social sector, Rs88 billion for infrastructure development, Rs34 billion for the production sector, Rs21 billion for the services sector and last but not the least Rs42 billion for public-private partnership.

It is pertinent to mention here that the present government has also allocated 35 percent of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the fiscal year 2019-20 for southern Punjab districts in order to enable them to come up to par with other developed areas of the province. Under the Punjab Ehsas programme, the government is launching various schemes for widows, senior citizens, acid victims and others too. The budget allocates Rs383 billion for education, Rs279 billion for health sector and Rs8 billion for provision of clean drinking water. Agriculture, the backbone of the country’s economy, is facing a crisis hence the allocation of Rs40.8 billion for the agriculture sector will certainly provide incentives and concessions to farmers. The allocation of Rs26.4 billion for the transport sector and Rs57.1 billion for roads is also a welcome step as it will help in the economic growth and development of the province. If the amount allocated to each sector in the budget is implemented in its true letter and spirit then Punjab will be able to make progress by leaps and bounds.

Syed Ali Qasim


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