Rs 17.85b AJK budget presented
MUZAFFARABAD: Raja Nisar Ahmad Khan, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir finance minister, presented a tax-free budget for fiscal year 2005-06 with a total outlay of Rs 17.85 billion in the AJK Legislative Assembly on Saturday.
The budget is 13 percent higher than last year’s and has a development outlay of Rs 5.1b, to be provided by the federal government. For 2005-06, the AJK total revenue has been budgeted at Rs 9.99 billion, with the state generating Rs 4.13b from its own resources and receiving Rs 900m as royalty for the Mangla Dam.
Raja Nisar said the budget envisaged launching a micro credit scheme to provide soft loans to unemployed youth to help them establish their own businesses. In addition to this, over 1,700 new jobs would be available in the public sector in the next budget.
The minister said that various federal ministries and corporations would launch different development projects in Azad Jammu and Kashmir worth Rs 18b, while a four-year development project with the financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank would also be launched involving expenditure of over four billion rupees. The project would encompass constructing roads infrastructure, establishing new schools and hospitals, supplying clean drinking water and improving the electricity supply system of Azad Kashmir.
Nisar said the government has decided to establish the AJK Bank to gear up financial and business activities in the area. He said Rs 152.87m had been allocated for infrastructure development for the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus service. Work on 80 middle schools, 30 high schools and five colleges would continue during the 2005-06 financial year, while the federal government had also released Rs 213m for constructing Cadet College Plandri, Scouts Cadet College Muzaffarabad and AJK University. agencies