Punjab Budget for the Fiscal Year 2021-22: Some Major Allocations and Distinguished Features

Punjab_budget

Punjab Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22

“This Budget is not a ‘magic of statistics’ but is a document based on development,” says CM Punjab Usman Buzdar. 

Credit: Dawn

Total budget outlay

The Punjab government on June 14, 2021, approved the budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 with an estimated total budget outlay of Rs2.653 trillion.

Some Major Budgetary allocations (Punjab)

PSDP:  Rs39 billion will be spent from the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Health sector: The finance minister of Punjab said the government has allocated a total of Rs370 billion for health, including Rs96 for the development sector, claiming it was 182 percent more than the last year’s allocation.

Allocation for education: Punjab government has allocated Rs442 billion for education in the financial year 2021-22 with an increase of 13 percent from last year.

Environmental protection: As for environmental protection, an allocation of Rs4 billion has been made out of which Rs2.5 billion will go to the Prime Minister’s flagship 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Project.

ADP allocation: Rs550bn Annual Development Program (ADP) in its annual budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.

A sum of Rs6.5bn was earmarked for the upgrade of schools to bring around 2m students back to schools.

COVID-19: Rs80bn for the health insurance program.

Vaccine procurement: Rs10bn for COVID-19 jabs.

Tax Relief; According to the Finance Bill, the Punjab government had given a Rs 51 billion comprehensive packages of tax relief for the revival of business activities and growth in the fiscal year 2021-22. No new tax has been imposed in the budget and the government has tried to make it a business-friendly budget in the context of Covid-19.

For new investment: Rs.40 billion to boost construction activities in the province and attract new investment to the sector.

Social sector: The government has allocated over Rs200 billion for the social sector, including the health and education sectors.

Infrastructure development: Rs145 billion for infrastructure development.

Production sector: Over Rs55 billion for production sectors including agriculture, industry, tourism, wildlife, fisheries, forest, and more than Rs90 billion for special programs.

The government has allocated Rs1 billion for the Cholistan Development Authority (CDA) for water reservoirs and road infrastructure.

Community Development: Rs15 billion for community development programs.

District development program: Rs99 billion have been set aside out of the total Rs295 billion district development program for all districts of the province.

Allocation for mega projects of Lahore: The government has also allocated over Rs28 billion for the mega projects of Lahore.

Industrialization: The government has earmarked Rs3.5 billion for industrialization in the province and completion of work in the existing industrial estates.

Road infrastructure: The government has made an Rs58 billion allocation for road infrastructure in the budget 2021-22. Also, Rs8 billion was allocated under CM Road Rehabilitation Programme. In total, over Rs100 billion will be spent on road infrastructure in Punjab in the next fiscal

Livestock and dairy development: For livestock and dairy development projects, Rs5 billion.

Punjab_budget
Photo credit: Dawn.

Some Distinguished features of this year’s Punjab Budget

  • A handsome allocation of 200 bn for the otherwise neglected social sector.
  • Spending on education stands around 17 percent of the total Punjab budget which is equal to spending the biggest economy(USA) spends on education.
  • For the first time in the history of the province, a separate annual development plan to the tune of Rs189 billion is allocated for south Punjab.
  • The tax target(400bn) has been set 28% higher than the ongoing fiscal year target.
  • Unlike his predecessor who focused more on large infrastructure schemes, the Buzdar administration has chosen smaller public works.
  • Low tax rate of 5 percent through credit or debit card payments in order to encourage documentation of the economy.
  • The total outlay of the budget is increased by more than 18% and the development budget has gained 66% compared with the current fiscal year.
  • Special allocation for health insurance cards and air ambulance for social sector reform.
  • Rs10 billion has been set aside for soft loans of the Punjab Rozgar Scheme. (community uplift)
  • Allocations to set up new universities at district levels.
  • “biggest budget in the history of the province,” says Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht.
  • Special focus on disease prevention and separate budgetary allocation for this purpose.
  • Provision of Rahmatulal Ameen scholarships to 15,000 intelligent and deserving students with an allocation of Rs834m.
  • A whopping increase of over 300% in the agriculture development projects in order to ensure food security and increase agricultural productivity.

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