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May 6, 2021

Budget 2021-22 to focus on health, economy: minister

 
May 6, 2021

LAHORE:Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that the fiscal year 2021-22 will be the year of rehabilitation and the universal health coverage programme would ensure health and the special development package for the industrial sector will ensure economic recovery.

The minister while presiding over a pre-budget consultative meeting with leading economists under the Sub-National Governance Programme said that the problems faced in order to increase agricultural production and the provision of services in the relevant sectors will be solved. The development of agro-related industries will also be an important part of the future development agenda. Providing social security will also be the top priority of the Punjab government in the next budget, he added.

The minister said that without industrial development, economic recovery is unthinkable. Sustainable steps are being taken for the development of the industrial sector in all stages from investor protection to establishment of industrial zones and preparation of suitable labour force in consultation with stakeholders. These 360 degree assessments of different sectors with experts, academia, citizens and those directly and indirectly involved in different value chains will lead to a holistic and inclusive budget making process, he added.

The session was attended by Planning and Development Chairman Abdullah Sumbal, Secretary Finance Iftikhar Sahoo, Chief Executive Officer Urban Unit Dr Omar, Economist Dr Ghulam Nabi, Dr Ali Cheema, Maroof Syed, Javed Iqbal, Nazish Afraz and PFM experts of Sub-National Governance Programme. The participants discussed various opportunities that can be used by the Punjab government to support businesses and service industry, including, improving agriculture extension services, removing bottlenecks for agricultural productivity, developing futuristic skills and looking at pandemic recovery plans. The minister informed the meeting that the present government was also ensuring necessary amendments to the laws to facilitate industry and trade and to promote economic activities in the province.

Online lecture: Tourism & Archaeology Department (TAD) Secretary Ehsan Bhutta apprised under-training civil officers of initiatives taken by the Punjab government in tourism sector. He delivered an online lecture to the participants of specialised training, Mid-Career Management Course (MCMC) at Civil Services Academy (CSA), here Wednesday.

According to the TAD spokesman, topic of lecture was: "Tourism in Pakistan; initiatives, hurdles and way forward: special focus on tourism sector initiatives in Punjab". There were 16 participants from across Pakistan who were undergoing four-month training course, compulsory for their next promotion.