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Punjab ministers hint at tough decisions to stabilize economy

By News Desk

June 14, 2024 01:53 PM


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Senior Punjab Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman hinted at making tough decisions to stabilize the economy, asserting that their government is working tirelessly day and night in the province. According to the 24NewsHD TV channel, the provincial ministers addressed a joint post-budget press conference in Lahore on Friday.

Senior Provincial Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that the Punjab government has presented a historic tax-free budget, aiming to stabilize the public and the economy through difficult decisions. She emphasized their dedication to improving the economy, noting that the country has been saved from default in the past 16 months.

She said the budget places special emphasis on education, with the allocation for the education sector increased to 670 billion rupees. There is a particular focus on children's education, and a new initiative will provide IT skills to village girls from their homes.

Explaining the health sector budget, she said the "Clinics on Wheels" program will be expanded, and funds have been allocated for the repair and maintenance of all basic health centers. Major hospitals, including the Nawaz Sharif Cancer Hospital and others in various cities, are included in the budget. Additionally, a health insurance scheme for journalists has been initiated.

About the agriculture sector, which is the economic backbone of the country, Marriyum said the agriculture sector receives special attention in the Punjab budget as the government prioritizes the prosperity of farmers, with dedicated funds for crop seeds and solar systems. She said the agriculture budget includes the Kisan Card and Tractor Scheme, and a scheme related to livestock. An Agriculture Mall is also being developed, and a program to manufacture tractors in Punjab is part of the budget.

She said salaries of employees from grade 1 to 16 have been increased by 25%, and those from grade 17 to 22 will see a 20% increase, while pensions for retired employees have been raised by 15%.

Talking about different plans and initiatives of the government, Marriyum said an end-to-end solid waste management plan will be implemented across Punjab while the budget also includes a project for tourism revival throughout the province. For the first time, a Punjab Socio-Economic History project has been initiated, she said, adding that sports projects have been included down to the union council level under the "Khelta Punjab" initiative.

Regarding environmental changes, she said a "Smog-Free Lahore" project has been introduced, with allocated funds to ensure its implementation.

Addressing the media, Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman mentioned that tax rates are being reduced while expanding the tax base in the Punjab budget 2024-25. He added that a record budget of 539 billion rupees has been allocated for the health sector, and 670 billion rupees for education.


News Desk


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