LAHORE

Terming the provincial budget 2015-16 as people-friendly, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry former vice president Kashif Anwar said that allocations for social uplift, poverty alleviation, education, health sectors and infrastructure would not only spur the growth but also to help eliminate poverty.

He pointed out that for the first time in history of Pakistan the government has earmarked huge amount for education and energy sectors. He said allocation of 27 per cent budget for education and building of new universities reflects government’s education friendly policy. This successful budget will end backwardness from the country and province.

He suggested the government should concentrate on improving its tax revenue collection and should declare incentives for all regular taxpayers. If the suggestion is incorporated as an amendment in the budget, it will cut the domestic debt servicing cost and bring down inflation, which will also bring relief to the common man.

However, at this crucial phase of economic development, Kashif Anwar declared the budget a balanced one and hoped it would expedite economic growth by demonstrating a continuity of the previous year’s plans and policies, which shows commitment of the government to take forward its economic programme.

He said that allocation of maintenance of law and order in the province was enough to prove that Punjab government was serious in improving law and order at every cost.

He said the whole country was suffering heavily because of severe energy shortage and government resolve to produce electricity through coal and LNG is a step in right direction and an ample proof of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visionary approach.

Meanwhile, Progressive Group in the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed allocation of a huge sum of Rs 400 billion by the Punjab government in the proposed budget 2015-16 and withdrawal of 19.5 per cent sales tax on internet.

The group welcomed increasing the development budget by 15.9 per cent but stressed that the government should have allocated major chunk of the development budget for strengthening and improving the education and health facilities in the province.

In its reaction to the provincial budget for the year 2015-16, Progressive Group’s President Khalid Usman and Secretary Information Muhammad Ejaz Tanveer said here on Saturday that the provincial government’s step of allocating a huge amount for development of Baluchistan. They said that it would promote inter-provincial harmony and our Bloch brethren will feel that they are not alone and whole Pakistan wanted their development and prosperity too. They also termed Punjab budget for year 2015-16 as pro-industry, pro-poor and relief-oriented.

They also welcomed allocating huge amounts for education, health and other social services.

Expansion of tax net is also an appreciable step by the provincial government, however, if the sales tax rate could be brought down in to single digit, it will encourage the people to pay and government can bag more funds in its kitty, the progressive group leaders added.