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Punjab ‘tax-free’ budget for FY25 presented

Punjab ‘tax-free’ budget for FY25 presented

Punjab ‘tax-free’ budget for FY25 presented

Punjab ‘tax-free’ budget for FY25 presented

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LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman presented the province’s ‘tax-free’ budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, totaling 5.44 trillion rupees, amidst protests by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

The finance minister introduced a 5446 billion rupee budget, boasting a surplus of 630 billion rupees. He announced that 77 new mega projects would commence under the annual development program.

The Punjab government proposed up to a 25 percent increase in employee salaries and a 15 percent raise in pensions for retired employees. Additionally, the minimum wage for workers is proposed to increase from 32,000 rupees to 37,000 rupees.

Rehman stated that the total revenue collection is projected at 4643.4 billion rupees, with 3,683.10 billion rupees expected from the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

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Provincial receipts are anticipated to be 960.30 billion rupees, marking a 54 percent increase over the current fiscal year for 2024-25.

The Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) has a revenue collection target of 300 billion rupees, a 25 percent increase from FY2023-24. The Board of Revenue’s target is 105 billion rupees, a six percent rise, and the Excise Department aims for 57 billion rupees, up 25 percent. Non-tax revenue is expected to bring in 488.40 billion rupees, a 111 percent increase from FY2023-24.

Rehman described the provincial budget as ‘tax-free, progressive, and pro-business,’ emphasizing that no new taxes were introduced and existing taxes were not raised.

Budget documents allocate 6 billion rupees for a laptop scheme, 5 billion rupees for an endowment fund, 268 billion rupees for supplementary grants, 26 billion rupees for the supplementary budget of FY 2023-24, 26 billion rupees for agricultural equipment, and 10 billion rupees for the Kisan card.

Additionally, 30 billion rupees are allocated for the CM green tractor program, 80 billion rupees for the CM district SGD program, 2 billion rupees each for the livestock card and the Himmat and Nighaban card, and 26 billion rupees for the education restructuring project.

Rehman announced that 603.1 billion rupees would be spent on salaries and 451.4 billion rupees on pensions during FY 2024-25.

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Following the federal government’s lead, the Punjab government proposed up to a 25 percent salary increase for its employees and a 15 percent pension raise for retired employees. The minimum wage for workers is proposed to increase from 32,000 rupees to 37,000 rupees.

The Punjab government allocated a ‘record’ 842 billion rupees for development projects under the annual development program, a 28 percent increase from the previous year’s 655 billion rupee budget. Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz stated on X that despite allocating 842 billion rupees for development, over one trillion rupees would be spent on uplift projects. “Biggest ever annual development program (842 billion) which will cross 1 trillion Insha’Allah,” she posted.

For the Chief Minister Roshan Gharana Programme, 9.5 billion rupees were earmarked to provide relief to those affected by high power bills. In the first phase, free solar systems will be provided to those consuming up to 100 electricity units.

 

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