Sindh to present tax-free budget on Monday | Pakistan Today

Sindh to present tax-free budget on Monday

No new tax is likely to be introduced in the Sindh budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 on Monday (today).
However, the budget deficit has been estimated over Rs 45 billion, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Moreover, the salaries of Sindh government employees would be increased by 10 percent. While it is also expected that the Sindh government will announce, in the budget, at least 23,500 jobs that include 7,500 in police while the rest in other departments.
The rates of some non-tax levies such as water tax on agriculture, licence fee and tender fee would be rationalised to improve resource mobilisation. Some of these charges would be clubbed together instead of increasing their rates to yield better revenue, sources said.
They also said the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in the budget was likely to be over Rs 192 billion with Rs 20 billion for the defunct district governments. Besides, more than Rs 45 billion have been allocated for the foreign-funded projects.
In the budget 2013-14, the major announcements will be establishment of Rs 1 billion Shuhada Fund for the police, new recruitment of more than 7,500 in police and 16,000 in other departments, 28,000 plots under Benazir town and Rs 4 billion Ramazan Package.
The break-up shows that Rs 33.650 billion will be allocated for Special Initiatives Unit, Rs 16.8 billion for education, Rs 13.61 billion for health, Rs 19.6 billion for transport and communication, irrigation Rs 15 billion, Rs 9 billion for agriculture, Rs 3.29 billion for investment and development, Rs 5 billion for fisheries and livestock, Rs 3 billion for food, Rs 2 billion for commerce and industry, Rs 330 million for bureau of supply and prices, Rs 682.1 million for mines and minerals, Rs 250 million for coal and energy, Rs 4.33 billion for building department (works and services), Rs 4.9 billion public health engineering, Rs 1.5 billion local government department, Rs 288 million for katchi abadis, Rs 900 million for sports, Rs 550 million for youth affairs, Rs 2.33 billion culture and tourism and Rs 600 million for ushr, zakat and religious affairs, Rs 352 million for women development. And, Rs 230 million for information and archives, Rs 17 billion for special packages; matching allocation Rs 5.5 billion, Rs 12 billion as block allocation. And over Rs 13 billion for MPA priority programs, Rs 12 billion for special packages for Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Larkana.
The major constraint on provincial resources would be salaries of more than 70,000 people recruited by the former government, they said, adding that this would be a major burden on the government’s non-developmental expenditure.
There is also an increase in demand for grants by the Police Department due to prevailing law and order situation. The target of tax revenues would be achieved by at least 90 percent, however, there is an acute deficit in non-tax revenue, sources added.
According to sources, the funds not utilised by departments on various projects would be diverted for the projects, which attain the advanced stage of completion.
Sindh’s major chunk of revenue is generated from six provincial taxes collected by the Excise and Taxation Department and proceeds collected by the Sindh Board of Revenue on account of stamp duty, land users charges, water tax, licence and tender fee. However, the bulk of resources (about 85 percent) come through federal grants, transfers and project aid.

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