HAMID RAO, Roshan Mughal & Abdul Rashid Malik MUZAFFARABAD - Pakistan Occupied Kashmir government on Friday announced the consolidated tax-free budget of the state with an outlay of over Rs47.33 billion for the fiscal year 2010-11 with a record deficit of over Rs17.6050 billion and an allocation of Rs11.17 billion for the annual development programme. Non-development expenditure has been estimated over Rs36.71 billion against the revenue receipt of Rs 11,672.15 million from its own resources including Rs 750 million from Mangla water usage charges, Rs4,500 million as an income from Kashmir Council, Rs6,680 million from federal tax share with revenue deficit of Rs5,555 million to be met by federal government. The budget provides development outlay of Rs11.17 billion. Minister for Finance Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan unveiled the next fiscal years outlay in the House presided over by Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir, whereas the opposition members boycotted the session and torn the budget copies and dubbed it as jugglery of words containing no material and measures for the welfare of the people. Presenting the budget in the AJK Legislative Assembly, Finance Minister Raja Nisar Ahmad Khan said that Government is facing Rs 17.6050 billion deficit due to last years development budget as ex-prime minister and ruling party chief Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan had started a huge development programme without estimating the resources. Many ongoing projects have been dropped in the budget due to financial constraints but it does not reflect any single measure of austerity to minimise the non-development expenditures. The Finance Minister in his budget speech said that the share of the Federal Government in the new NFC Award was reduced, which had also affected the AJK share putting his government in financial crunch. He said if net hydel profit and share from federal taxes and Kashmir property were provided to the AJK government, it might not be in need of any further grant or aid. The Finance Minister hoped that the Federal Government would provide the remaining amount in the shape of grant or aid to meet the development expenditures deficit. The Finance Minister announced 50 percent ad hoc increase in the salaries of the government employees, police officials and pensions and medical allowance following the federal governments initiative. However, he did not announce any cut in the salaries of ministers and government functionaries as the Federal and Provincial Governments did by cutting down their expenditures. AJK has the biggest cabinet of its history with all treasury members except one having the portfolio. Raja Nisar said a comprehensive reconstruction programme has been launched in quake-hit areas and over 1,000 projects have been completed already and work is going on over 2,000 other projects whereas over 1,800 projects will be launched in next financial year. He said special emphasis has been laid on communication, local government, education, health, hydropower generation and tourism. Highest priority has been given to the transport and communication sector with the allocation of over Rs4,185.343 million. The education sector will receive over Rs828.811 million. While explaining the sector-wise allocation of the funds, he said Rs149.394 million have been set aside for agriculture and livestock, Rs40.377 million for civil defence, Rs171.607 million for development authorities, Rs20.189 million for environment, Rs916.487 million for foreign aided projects, Rs361.380 million for forestry, fisheries and wildlife, Rs308.147 for health, Rs20.189 for information and media development, Rs228.132 million for information technology, Rs 165.548 million for industries and minerals, Rs1000.00 million for local government and rural development, Rs 1500.00 million for electricity, Rs 766.160 million for physical planning and housing, Rs 110.369 million for research and development, Rs34.321 million for social welfare, Rs171.924 million for sports and Rs196.587 million for tourism. The Finance Minister told during the budget speech that the decrease in the income of Federal Government owing to the approval of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award had caused a decrease in the AJK budget to Rs 12 billion in non-developmental spending and Rs 5 billion for the development sector. Federal government of Pakistan has always extended its generous support for the development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, he added. Earlier, AJK Cabinet had approved the budget in its meeting in Muzaffarabad chaired by the Premier of the State Raja Farooq Haider Khan.