LAHORE - Uncertainty occurred after COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the Punjab revenue collection and expenditures while provincial government is unable to make expenditures estimates for the next fiscal year.

The revenue collection of the Punjab is badly affected after COVID-19 spread while the government is planning for fund raising from public sector assets from the next fiscal year to increase the indigenous resources, besides considering a mini-budget in the mid of the next fiscal year if the COVID-19 pandemic spread come in the control.

This was informed by the Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bkaht chairing the special meeting of the Chief Minister Standing Committee for Finance here on Wednesday in order to brief the cabinet about the difficulties beg faced by the Punjab to prepare the Budget-2020-21.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal, Senior Minister Aleem Khan, Law Minister Raja Basharat, Advisor to Chief Minister Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik, Finance Secretary Abdullah Sumbal, Chairman Planning and Development Board Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh and other official concerned.  

The minister also informed ending the subsidy culture along with implementing the public private partnership projects for allocation of more resources for the development projects.

The Punjab is spending Rs 46 billion annually on different subsides.

The Secretary Finance informed the meeting the province save Rs 60 billion by controlling the non-development expenditures during the year.

He said increase in retirement age, voluntary retirement schemes are being considered in the next budget, besides unnecessary appointment to control the current expenditures.

Dr Slaman Shah stressed the need of improving the efficiency and performance of the government departments for better implementation on the annual development plan.

He requested the Chief Secretary to resolve the public department matters on public private partnership program as the projects are stuck with the various government institutions. He suggested fixing a timeline to each department for public private partnership projects.

The meeting also discussed hiring in the public private partnership authority, special corona allowances for frontline people.

The committee recommended allowances for frontline workers only and strictly rejected any other recommendations on it.

The Finance Minister urged that the government salaried class officer should take their responsibility and perform the duties in need of hour, when the government facing COVID-19 pandemic along with financial constraints.

He said the daily wagers and unemployed people are the top most priority of the government.