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Budget 2015-16 Approval

29 Jun 2015

The government successfully got approved its third budget from National Assembly as opposition remained on walkout the second day leaving ground open for the treasury benches to call `A yes' after `A yes' with no `NOs' resounding in the House.

In the name of load shedding and deaths in Karachi as well as an excuse that they were not reconciled properly to bring back to the House, the opposition remained oblivious to the proceedings - a favor which was `most wanted' by the government.

The passage of the bill has successfully brought to an end the budgetary process started on June, 5 with the budget speech of the finance minister at the National Assembly. The bill now will go to the President for assent.

In the budget, Rs 1,513 billion has been allocated for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next financial year. Out of this, 700 billion have been earmarked for the development projects to be carried by the federal government while Rs 813 billion would be disbursed amongst the federating units for their development programs.

To improve productivity in industrial and agricultural sectors with a view to achieve food entrepreneurship promotion in these sectors. The allocations of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has been enhanced to Rs 102 billion to cater to 5.3 million deserving families by the end of FY 2015-16.

Similarly, the budget of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal has been doubled from Rs 2 to 4 billion. The House adopted a number of amendments proposed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Senators and MNAs during the debate.

The Senate had made 92 recommendations out of those, the government accepted 56 and were incorporated in the federal budget, fully or partially. The salaries of government employees and pensions have been increased by 7.5 percent after merging the ad hoc relieves of 2011 and 2012 basic salaries of the employees.

The minimum wages of labour would be Rs 13,000 per month. The medical allowances of the government employees have also been enhanced by 25 percent. The employees of grade V have been granted promotion.

Solar tube wells would be provided to farmers while duty on import of agriculture machinery, poultry tax has been abolished, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been provided five years tax amnesty, the units could be set up from July 1 2015 to June 30 2018.

The House also approved charged expenditures on supplementary demands of grants worth Rs 12.620 billion for the year ending on June 30, 2015.

According to the detail of the charged expenditures as shown in the supplementary demands of grants and approved by the House, Rs 23.536 million have been allocated for superannuation, allowances and pensions; Rs 83.119 million for other expenditures of law, justice and human rights division and Rs 2000 for the Senate.

The further charged expenditures approved by the House included Rs 24 million for staff, household, and allowances of the President; Rs 11.923 billion for payment of short term foreign credits, Rs 1000 for Supreme Court, Rs 1000 for Islamabad High Court, Rs 475.935 million for election, Rs 91.071 million for Wafaqi Mohtasib and Rs 12,000 for federal Tax Ombudsman

On the day, the House also approved supplementary budget of Rs 192.727 billion for various ministries and divisions with Rs 21.408 billion for Cabinet Division, Rs 620.672 million, Rs 4.6689 billion for establishment division, Rs 19.87 billion for defence services and division and Rs 9.336 billion for finance division.

Similarly the National Assembly also approved demand of Rs 1.29 billion for foreign affairs division, Rs 68.005 million for industries and production division, Rs 690.59 million for Information, broadcasting and national heritage division, Rs 22.62 million for interior division and Rs 640.003 million for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan

The house also accorded approval to the demand of Rs 125.738 million for Law, Justice and Human Rights division, Rs 86.512 million for religions affairs and inter-faith harmony division, Rs 55000 for commerce division, Rs 95 million for revenue division, Rs 37.619 million for statistic division, Rs 950 million for education, training and standards in higher education division and Rs 162.653 million for national food security and research.

The house also approved demand of Rs 886.644 million for national health service, regulation and coordination division, Rs 573.51 million for science and technology division, Rs 10.956 billion for States and Frontier Region, Rs 7000 for textile industry division, Rs 371.257 million for water and power division, Rs 21.425 million for Prime Minister office, Rs 502,000 for Prime Minister's inspection commission and Rs 729.89 million for Atomic Energy Commission

Similarly the National Assembly also approved demand worth of Rs 10 million for Pakistan Post Office Department, Rs 278.579 million for Controller General of Accounts and Rs 292.887 million for Federal Board of Revenue, Rs 16.925 million for housing and works division and Rs 150.008 million for Afghan Refugees.

Towards the end of the proceedings, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar appreciated the input of the Senate and contribution by political parties in National Assembly as he especially mentioned that this time the government had incorporated maximum proposals by the opposition parties.

He however repeated his proposal to evolve a charter of economy like the one `Charter of Democracy' reached by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and late Benazir Bhutto. "This would give country an economic roadmap for next few decades ensuring continuity of policies and smooth decision to bring down fiscal and trade deficit."

The minister also thanked all those who contributed in running the House, preparing documents as well as ministry's officials who have been the part of this marathon exercise as the Speaker adjourned the House to meet again on Tuesday morning at 1000 hours.