Govt announces ‘Comprehensive Karachi Package’

Govt announces ‘Comprehensive Karachi Package’

Govt announces ‘Comprehensive Karachi Package’

‘Comprehensive Karachi Package’ announced

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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has announced the ‘Comprehensive Karachi Package’ to enhance the infrastructure of the port city under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Presenting the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb outlined the proposed infrastructure development plan for Karachi, aimed at upgrading the city’s infrastructure. He emphasized that the development will be carried out in consultation with all stakeholders to bring innovative changes.

Aurangzeb also proposed a substantial allocation for completing Karachi’s delayed mega water project K-IV. The minister stated that Rs 1500 billion has been earmarked for the Public Sector Development Programme.

Amid protests from opposition lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council, Muhammad Aurangzeb presented Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, with a total outlay exceeding Rs18 trillion. The National Assembly session began with the recitation of the Holy Quran followed by the national anthem, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in attendance.

In his opening remarks, Finance Minister Aurangzeb praised PM Shehbaz Sharif and his team for their efforts over the past year to revive the economy. He assured that Pakistan would soon be on the path to inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

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The finance minister announced a 101 percent increase in the development budget, allocating 81 percent for ongoing schemes and 19 percent for new initiatives. He also revealed development projects in Azad Kashmir and merged districts, stressing that completing ongoing projects would be the government’s top priority. “The government will focus on export, equity, empowerment, environment, and energy under the 5-E framework,” he added.

Specific allocations include Rs5 billion for the Quaid-e-Azam Health Tower in Islamabad, Rs7 billion for development projects in the poorest districts, Rs6 billion for the Karakoram Highway project, Rs4 billion for the digitalization of the national economy, Rs2 billion for a Danish school in Islamabad, and Rs5 billion for seven Danish schools in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

For energy projects, Rs21 billion has been allocated for a 600 MW power plant in Jamshoro, Rs14 billion for a 500 kV transmission line in Lahore, Rs18 billion for the Karachi Coastal Power Project, and Rs45 billion for the Mohmand Dam Hydro Power Project.

The budget also includes relief measures for government employees, such as a 25 percent salary increase for BPS1-16, a 20 percent increase for BPS17-22, and a 15 percent increase in pensions for retired employees. Additionally, the minimum monthly wage has been raised from Rs 32,000 to Rs 37,000.

 

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