LAHORE - Punjab Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha will present provincial budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 at 2:30pm in the Punjab Assembly on June 2 (Friday).

Against the total outlay of Rs1681 billion in FY 2016-17, volume of the next Punjab budget is being stated more than two trillion rupees.

The next budget being last of the five-year tenure of the Punjab government under Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, is being stated to be a pro-poor. Sources say in the upcoming budget focus has been laid on health, education, infrastructure and energy sectors with new initiatives to provide employment and interest-free loans and yellow cab to the youth. Laptop scheme is also maintained in the budget. Provision of clean water in the southern part of the Punjab and steps to improve industrial, agriculture and livestock sectors have been proposed in the next budget. Sources say no new tax has been imposed in the next budget although measures have been suggested to broaden the tax net.

Sources say unlike the past budget, special incentives have been given to improve small industrial, cottage industry, skill development and vocational training. Through the kissan package of Rs100billion, a comprehensive relief package has also been laid in the budget in addition to giving push to ongoing Punjab rural road programme. Betterment of mining sector has been given attention in the next budget, they add.

Special measures will be proposed to facilitate doing business and increase in exports. Reforms will be introduced for enhanced manufacturing of local products. Public-private partnership will be further promoted so that the maximum job opportunities could be created. Priority will be given to the immediate needs and completion of on-going projects over other projects. Tax recoveries in the next budget have been proposed to be simplified for redressal of problems of trader’s community.