Punjab government allocates 100 billion rupees for social welfare – Pakistan

LAHORE: As part of social welfare initiatives and as part of relief measures, the Punjab government has set aside an amount of Rs 100 billion in its 2022-23 budget.

According to the budget document, Rs 39.93 billion has been allocated for free medicine, Rs 17.89 for transport subsidy, Rs 17.32 billion for agriculture subsidy, Rs 6 billion to address environmental challenges and climate change, Rs 5 billion for the ghee subsidy, Rs 2 billion rupees for subsidies under the Ramazan package, 2 billion rupees for drought and plantation, and 0.44 billion rupees for the credit facility electronics for small farmers.

Apart from this, Rs 272.60 billion has been allocated to social sector and women’s development in the 2022-23 budget.

During the 2021-22 fiscal year, the fallout from Covid-19 continued to put pressure on government finances. The year was also marked by upward trends in international commodity prices, accompanied by domestic inflationary pressures and a widening current account deficit.

According to the budget document, the main concern for the 2022-23 financial year remains high inflation caused by the increase in oil prices, the increase in gas and electricity tariffs, the continuation of the geopolitical crisis and the supply-side risks, the impact of the devaluation of the rupee with the adoption of a restrictive surveillance policy by the central government. bank.

The Punjab government is launching programs to strengthen safety nets while maintaining substantial development investments to spur growth. Continuing tax relief measures for businesses and sectors hardest hit by the economic downturn will provide the necessary momentum for recovery. The Punjab government has struggled to strike a delicate balance between tax relief, resource generation, social welfare and essential development.

In these difficult times, Punjab is embracing prudent fiscal targets with a renewed focus on improving social safety nets for the marginalized sections of society. An effort has been made for efficient use of resources to facilitate and support economic activity in the province.

According to the budget document, the 2022-2023 budget is ambitious, but comes with fiscal discipline. The total general tax revenue of the Punjab government is targeted at Rs 2,521.3 billion; including transfers from the Federal Divisible Pool of Rs 2,020.7 billion and provincial revenues of Rs 500.5 billion. Government current expenditure is expected to amount to Rs 1,711.9 billion.

However, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz told the media on Thursday that the Punjab government, despite harsh conditions, had presented a tax-free and people-friendly budget.

“We are working with dedication to bring the country out of crises by putting our political interests into play,” he said, adding, “The people are well aware of the public service record of PML-N and we make decisions difficult for the love of the country.

Under the landmark Rs 200 billion relief package, a 10kg sack of flour is now available at Rs 490/ while a subsidized Rs 134 billion scheme has also been granted, a- he declared.

Hamza disclosed that free drugs will be provided in Tehsil headquarters hospitals and health centers in Punjab from July 1, adding that cancer patients will also be provided with free drugs. “My life mission is to serve the people and we would devote all energies and resources to protecting the interests of the marginalized sections of society,” he said, adding, “The price control committees are functioning and instructions have been issued to ensure that the prices of 8 basic essential items are not increased.

Hamza criticized his predecessor (Usman Buzdar) for moving the LHC to get its benefits and privileges. He regretted that only 30% of Safe City cameras are operational, but the Punjab Cabinet has not approved funds in the past four years to make these cameras operational.

The CM also criticized “Imran Niazi” and Pervaiz Elahi for causing unrest and flouting the law and the Constitution and said that the PML-N would continue public service and lead the country out of the current crises.

On a question, he said everything they did for the budget session was within the law and in the interest of the people of Punjab. He asked the PTI to refrain from creating obstacles in the public service.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

Joel C. Hicks