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Economy is facing extraordinary conditions due to COVID-19: Finance Minister

Muhammad Sudhir Chaudhry Deputy Bureau Chief Lahore

13th Apr, 2020. 11:49 pm
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Finance Minister

A review meeting on the preparation of Budget 2020-21, chaired by Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, was held in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat today. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Punjab Azam Suleiman, Secretary Finance Abdullah Sunbal ,Chairman Planning and Development Sheikh Hamid Yaqub, Secretary Chief Secretary Iftikhar Sahoo and the concerned officers.

The Secretary Finance and Chairman Planning & Development briefed the meeting on the preparation of next fiscal year’s budget, The Annual Development Plan and the current economic situation of the province, adding that additional spending on COVID -19 prevention and rehabilitation of victim’s affected provincial resources. That will have a direct impact on the next fiscal year’s budget.

Addressing the meeting on the occasion, the Minister said that due to Corona the economy is facing extraordinary conditions. Right now our top priority is virus-infected individuals and businesses. Additional funds of Rs 15 billion for the Health and Disaster Management Department, a package of Rs 10 billion for financing deserving persons and a tax relief package of over 18 billion for entrepreneurs are a link in the same series. In these situations it is imperative that the Departments ensure the implementation of a policy of financial discipline and austerity.

He further said that No more supplementary grant will be issued to the departments. However, the provision of protective clothing for doctors, nurses and paramedical staff will be ensured. The province will have to deal with the challenges of Corona within its own resources. Next financial Year ADP will be prepared in the same context. It will promote the private sector for Corona-effected financial activities and business growth. The cities will use the resources of development authorities for development purposes. Before this, a relief package for Ramadan will also be introduced.

The provincial minister directed the finance department to keep in view the current situation; all departments should be informed about the proposed principles of financial discipline and Austerity and assist in the preparation of the budget.

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