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Budgetary proposals widely hailed in city

LAHORE: Different segments of society have hailed budgetary proposals for the 2014-15 fiscal announced by Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday. 
Welcoming the Rs 81.12bn allocation for establishing new hydropower projects, the Pakistan Water Council (PWC) said that it would help the country meet future water needs.
PWC convenor Choudhry Akbar Ali said that allocation of hefty amount in the federal budget for Diamer-Basha, Dassu and Golen Gol hydro projects was a healthy step to ensure smooth supply of water to crops and provision of potable water to masses besides producing electricity.
Retired government servants have also hailed the federal government’s decision to enhance pensions by 10 percent. The decision to raise the minimum pension ceiling from Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 has also been welcomed.
Talking to APP, Sanaullah Sani, a retired educationist, said that the PML-N government’s decision would help meet challenges posed by dearness. He said that the decision was commendable, as the government had increased 10 percent pensions despite facing severe financial constraints.    
Prof (r) Wajahat Ashraf Qazi said that the 10 percent raise in pensions was a people-friendly initiative of the government. He said that the decision showed that the government was aware of the problems of the masses.
Commuters have also praised the budget and said that the federal government is in fact looking committed to restoring Pakistan Railways to its original form.
Talking to APP, Usman, Tahir, Majeed and other railway passengers said that allocation of Rs 77 billion for 45 railway schemes was a result of Federal Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq’s untiring efforts.
Other passengers, including Usama, Nasir, Kashif and Sultan, said that purchase of 1,500 new compartments and 500 engines would serve as an injection of power for the Pakistan Railways to help it stand on its feet again. 
They also welcomed the announcement of new urban train projects in Lahore and Karachi and said that citizens would enjoy modern travelling facilities in the upcoming years.
Meanwhile, Punjab Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed has said that the PML-N government presented a balanced and people-friendly budget. 
“Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has presented an ideal budget in which no additional burden has been put on the masses,” he added.
Commenting on the budget, he said, fruits of positive economic indicators have started trickling down. 
He said that comprehensive package announced for the betterment of the agriculture sector in the budget was fabulous.
“Agriculture sector is backbone of the country’s economy and the present government is determined to protect the interest of farmers,” he added.

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