Punjab announces Rs 1.96 trillion FY 2017-18 budget

Punjab announces Rs 1.96 trillion FY 2017-18 budget

Lahore (APP): The Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghous Pasha on Friday presented the province's budget for fiscal year 2017-18, with an outlay of Rs 1.971 trillion.

The minister, presenting the budget speech with Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan in the chair, said the budget provisions Rs 635 billion for development programmes, adding that the development budget was unprecedented in the country's history.

Punjab's fiscal 2017-18 development budget is 15 per cent larger than the ongoing fiscal year, the finance minister said.

Earlier, the provincial cabinet had approved the budget in a meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The Punjab government has earmarked a total of Rs 111bn for the health sector.

According to budget documents, the government has proposed a 58.4pc increase in health spending compared to Rs 70.06bn allocated in the 2016-17 budget.

It is pertinent to mention here the health department has been bifurcated into two separate departments, the Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department and the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.

An amount of Rs 20.41bn has been allocated in the fiscal year 2017-18 for the provision of free medicines.

A sum of Rs 7.57bn has been allocated for industries in the proposed budget.

TEVTA will receive about Rs 5.05bn as grant-in-aid, and an amount of Rs 145.6 million has been reserved for 'Headquarters Establishment'.

An amount of Rs 179.35m has been reserved for the Inspectorate of Mines, whereas the Punjab Small Industries Corporation will get Rs 1.42bn as grant-in-aid.

The Punjab Skills Development Project will receive Rs 43.35m; Sasti Roti Authority will receive Rs 8.8m and Rs 180.4 million will be spent on the regional establishment.