KARACHI - Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Affairs, Senator Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Tuesday said that annual budget for next financial year of 2012-13 would be presented in National Assembly in May.

Before approval, the Lower House will discuss the budget proposals for one month.

He was talking to media at Sindh Election Commission Office, where he, along with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and other PPP ministers and lawmakers, filed his nomination papers for Senate elections.

Shaikh would enter in senate for the third time. He was elected first time as senator during PML-Q led General (r) Pervez Musharraf’s regime.

When PPP came into power in 2008, Shaikh replaced Shaukat Tarin as finance minister and was elected as senator for the second term.

Now the PPP has again allotted him ticket for senate elections the third time. He said that democracy and constitution had been returned in its originality by the present government. He maintained that continuation of democracy and to come up to the expectations of the people.

To a question, he said, “When we (PPP) came in power, the country was facing big challenges including economic crises. He, however, said that government took up some steps to get country out of the crises. Austerity measures were taken to control extra expenditures and without enhancing the tax rate, the number of tax payers has increased.”

Shaikh said at least 6 million people were getting the cash transfers under Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme monthly. Additional Rs900 billion was given to the provinces during last two years under new NFC award so that they could provide education, health, water and municipal facilities to the people. Special attention and uplift schemes were being made in the underdeveloped areas including Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, Fata and Balochistan which were forgotten by other regimes.

He said that Balochistan’s budget had been doubled besides special schemes were also being executed there.

AKF promises filter plant, ambulance service for Turbat: Al-Khidmat Foundation (AKF) Pakistan has announced to start water filter and ambulance projects in Turbat, Balochistan to facilitate people of the far-flung area.

This was announced by President Al-Khidmat Foundation and ex-mayor Karachi Niamatullah Khan Advocate talking to a deletion of Turbat led by JI Turbat chapter amir Ahmed Dashti. He was apprised that people of Turbat Balochistan face immense difficulties in getting clean drinking water, besides healthcare facilities in the area was negligible.

Niamatullah Khan said that Al-Khidmat was focusing on the problems of less privileged people in all parts of the country without discrimination of colour, caste and creed. He said water filter and ambulance projects for Turbat would be initiated on priority.