MIRPUR (AJK), Jun 26 (APP): Azad Jammu Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Majeed Khan said that despite difficult circumstances,the government presented a balanced and people-friendly budget that will prove to be a step towards improvement of people’ lives
Khan expressed these views while addressing a post-budget media talk in the State metropolis on Sunday.
Additional Chief Secretary Development Dr. Sajid Mehmood Chauhan, Secretary Finance Ismatullah Shah and Secretary Information and IT Ms. Midhat Shehzad were also present on this occasion.
Speaking on the occasion the finance minister lauded the efforts of AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary Development, Secretary Finance and his team for presenting the best budget.
Now that the budget has been presented in the Assembly, Khan said that it was incumbent on the opposition to play its due role in the House to get it passed.
“The government will provide Rs. 100 million for the earthquake victims in Afghanistan and will try to reach out to the Afghan brothers as per the policy of the government of Pakistan,”he said.
Highlighting the salient features of the budget, he said, “Annual grant of Press Foundation has been increased from Rs 3.3 million to Rs 5 million whereas Rs. 85 million has been allocated for advertisements in the current financial year while Rs. 100 million has been allocated for the next financial year”.
Regarding the reduction of power losses in transmission lines, he said that the government was going to set up a private company (DISCO) to tackle this issue effectively.
He said that the Rescue 1122 service has been launched in Tehsil headquarters adjacent to LOC.
“In addition, Bomb Disposal Squad Units and Bike Ambulance Service are being set up in the Sub-Divisions located on the LOC,” he added.
“Tourism and Archaeology Secretariat has been set up for the promotion of tourism”, he added.
The finance minister further said that the directorate of EMIS has been established for monitoring and obtaining data of biometric devices installed in educational institutions.
He said that Rs. 418.494 million has been provided to the victims of disaster relief in the current financial year.
“About Rs. 500 million has been proposed for the procurement of medicines, equipment and repair of ambulances in the health sector in the current financial year and an increase of Rs. 700 million has been proposed in the financial year 2022-23”, he said, adding that Rs 100 million has been allocated for the prevention of Corona epidemic.
He said that a subsidy of Rs. 280 million was given by the government to provide cheap flour to the people during the Holy month of Ramadan.
To improve law and order situation and countering the threat of terrorism, he said, “Counter Terrorism Department has been set up in AJK and the required posts and funds have been provided to the department to counter terrorism effectively.”
He said that additional District and Sessions Judge Court in Abbaspour, Additional District and Sessions Judge / Additional District Criminal Court in Samahni District Bhimber and Additional District Qazi Abbaspour Court have been set up to ensure delivery of justice to the people at their doorstep.
He said that funds have also been earmarked for AIIMS Hospital Muzaffarabad, Cardiac Hospital and Tandali Hospital in the budget.
He further said that in addition to water usage charges other issues were being discussed with the central government.
The finance minister Abdul Majeed Khan said that government of Azad Kashmir has also proposed to increase salaries and pensions of employees in line with the package announced by the government of Pakistan.
The federal government, he said, has assured to provide the required funds.
To ensure transparency in the taxation system, Khan said that an agreement was being signed between the AJK Government and the State Bank of Pakistan and 1-Link to implement an automated and online tax payment system.
The Bank of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he said, has earned a profit of Rs 458 million in the year 2021-22, besides deposits of Rs 19.2 billion and the Bank’s assets have increased to 25.30 billion rupees.
“Moreover, the process has been started for Private Equity, which will prove to be a milestone in achieving the status of a scheduled bank”, he maintained.
Praising CBR for working diligently in the financial year 2021-22 to meet its revenue target, he said that the revenue target for the CBR for the next year has been increased by Rs. 5 billion to Rs. 36.500 billion.
“The revenue targets of other departments has also been increased by Rs 4 billion”, the minister added. Ends/app/ahr