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Budget 2020-21: No New Taxes Imposed, Defence Budget Increased By 11.85%

Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar is announcing the federal budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021 today. Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had referred to this year’s budget as the ‘corona-budget’.

In his budget speech, Azhar said that providing relief to the marginalised segments most affected by the coronavirus crisis was the top priority of the government, adding that the extended lockdown in the country decreased economic activity, thereby increasing poverty.

He said that the finance department facilitated relief organisations NDMA and initiative such as Ehsaas programme to help them respond to the coronavirus challenge.

Major allocations

The defence budget has been put at 1.2 trillion in the budget 2020-21.

Rs 60 billion has been allocated for the agriculture sector. Railways sector will get Rs 24 billion and funds worth 254 billion will be granted to the business community.

Minister Hammad Azhar announced that the energy and food sectors will be given subsidies.

Education budget

Higher Education Commission (HEC)’s budget has been increased to 64 billion.

Health budget

Rs 25.5bn has been allocated for the health sector.

The minister also said that the federally administered hospitals in Lahore and Karachi including Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Lahore and Jinnah Hospital (JPMC) in Karachi will be allotted additional funds worth Rs. 13 billion.

Federal development budget has been allotted 792 billion rupees and Federal ministries 476 billion.
Interest on payments will be 2946 billion rupees and 25 billion is set to enhance the remittances in the coming fiscal year.

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208 billion has been allocated for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Ehsaas program, 1.5 billion for Naya Pakistan Housing project and 2 billion for aiding unemployment in the Kamyab Jawaan project.

Furthermore, 50 billion will be invested on local utility stores, 12 billion for food security, and 250 billion in the social development sector.

650 billion will be invested in the PSDP and 6 billion for the controlling and maintaining of climate change in Pakistan.

GDP will be brought to 2.1% with a provincial budget allotment of 55 billion for Azad Jamu and Kashmir, 35 billion for Gilgit Baltistan, 19 billion grant for Sindh and 10 billion for Balochistan.

70 billion will be dedicated to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

70 billion will be invested in water resources and 5 billion for education.

100% duty will continue on tobacco and cigarette.

Duty for the local industry will be reduced from 12% to 6%.

The privatization team headed by Dr. Ishrat Hussain has been recommended to privatize 45 institutions.

Additionally, a special budget has been set for Gilgit Baltistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

324 billion development budget volume

40 billion will be allotted for railways and 13 billion for hospitals in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad.

10 billion for locust control in the crisis situation.

200 billion has been allotted for the relief of daily wagers. 1 billion for improvement in E-govt subsidies for energy, food and other sectors.

75 billion will be put in the health sector.

Budget session a mere formality:

The budget for the year 2020-2021 is being considered a formality between the main opposition parties and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). PPP and PML-N have agreed not to vote on cutting motions and not pointing the quorum out till the budget is fully announced by June 30.

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