‘Punjab govt budget 2014-15 to bring 7 million people above poverty line’

LAHORE: Punjab government budget 2014-15 would help bringing around 7 million people above the poverty line besides they can become self reliant. Addressing the post-budget press conference Punjab Finance Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said 36 percent amount of the development budget would be spent on South Punjab districts to help out the under-developed parts of the province.   Mujtaba claimed the fiscal year budget 2014-15 was pro people and progressive as per the vision of the chief minister Punjab aimed at bringing the growth rate at 8 percent during next four years. He said the Punjab government presented employment generating and growth oriented budget with four years vision and the main focus was to avoid financial burden on a common man.  He said although cash balance of Punjab remained well but utilisation remained low however it was higher as compared to the previous financial year. We have presented vision for our remaining tenure, as all the development initiatives would be executed, he remarked. To a question he said the government was willing to hold local bodies’ elections and for this purpose it had allocated Rs 3.5 billion in the budget. The government has allocated Rs 5 billion to provide subsidised fertilizers to the farmers on their demand. The government would provide yellow cabs to the youth and loader vehicles to the rural population, which would provide jobs to about 50,000 families, he said. He said the government has allocated Rs 96 billion for social sector, Rs 137.5 billion for infrastructure development, Rs 20.72 billion for production sector, Rs 9.493 billion for services sector and Rs 18.010 billion for special package. He said only elite class or rich people have been taxed in order to help improve resource run government business. The government has imposed taxes on luxury and big vehicles and all small vehicles, which contributed 60 percent of the total in the province, were not taxed as the common men mostly used them, Mujtuba said. The government need to create more and more jobs (about 1 million) to accommodate the unemployed youth and in this budget strategy was given for job enhancement and improve growth rate, he said.He said that the government has increased budget of police department in order to improve trainings of police officer and officials and the Counter Terrorism Department was established which would not perform security duties but it was a dedicated force to combat terrorism. 

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