Wed, 29 Jun 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 23 (ANI): A day after Pakistan's Punjab assembly passed the Punjab Finance Bill 2022-23, Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz convened the fourth session of the cabinet on Thursday to discuss an 11-point agenda, which includes a budget allocation for the most populous province in the country.

The provincial ministers, chief secretary and high-level officials will attend the cabinet session, ARY News reported.

Budget proposals worth over 27 trillion Pakistani rupees (PKR) were passed by the provincial assembly on Wednesday for the budget for the next fiscal year of 2022-23.

The Punjab Assembly has approved over PKR 1.49 trillion for the upcoming fiscal year to ensure law and order in the province, PKR 81.5 billion for education and PKR 1.83 trillion for health.

PKR 20.4 billion for the agriculture department, PKR 24.9 billion for the irrigation department, PKR 8.9 billion budget proposal for communication and PKR 1.1 trillion for the construction of roads and bridges in the province was also approved.

PKR 3.1 trillion has been allocated by the Punjab assembly as pension provisions to the retired employees, and PKR 42.6 have been allocated for the provision of subsidies.

A budget proposal worth PKR 55.5 billion has been approved for investment and PKR 11.4 billion for the industries.

The Punjab province of Pakistan had earlier got a huge share of 51.74 per cent in the budgetary distribution of resources among the federation and provinces, depicting the favourable behaviours of Shehbaz Sharif-led country's government as his son Hamza is the Chief Minister of the province.

Sindh's share was 24.55 per cent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's share was 14.62 per cent and Balochistan's share was 9.09 per cent.

According to the budget brief, the province-wise ratios were based on multiple indicators including population of 82 per cent, poverty or backwardness at 10.3 per cent, revenue collection or generation of 5 per cent and inverse population density of 2.7 per cent.

However, the budget has faced criticism from many. Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan on June 12 had accused the central government of intentionally slashing the region's development budget by half. Gilgit-Baltistan CM said that the incumbent government had cut the development budget of their region by 50 per cent to PKR 23 billion. (ANI)

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