Punjab decides to settle budgetary issues with Centre


LAHORE: After presenting a populist budget, the Punjab government has decided to contest its budgetary issues in the National Finance Commission to settle the case of the surplus budget.

Punjab Finance Minister Jawan Bakhat Hashim, while addressing a post-budget conference here on Wednesday, said that the surplus budget of Punjab will not be surrendered to anyone, rather it would be judiciously utilised in the future budget. He added that this surplus budget is created for the fiscal space.

Hashim said the Punjab government will present its growth strategy in the next month and focus on the public-private partnership which will not be like it was in the past.

The minister said that the current development strategy was adopted to correct the mistakes of the previous government while infrastructure development was not ignored in the budget. He said that the development would be continued in the neglected areas while an increase in education and health budget was reflections of the PTI promises made during the election.

The PTI lawmaker said that the government has allocated Rs 15 billion for interest-free loans for farmers which will directly benefit the agriculture sector only. He said Rs 433 million was allocated for the skill development of the youth and projects worth Rs 600 million will be started for the training of youth and to create new jobs.

Hashim said that south Punjab was ignored in the past while the PTI government owns complete Punjab and will focus on the development of the province with a balanced approach.

Other ministers of the Punjab government, including Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat, Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Information Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, Finance Secretary Sheikh Hamid Yaqoob and P&D Chairman Habibur Rehmaan were also present on the occasion.