LAHORE, Jun 23 (APP):Provincial Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht said on Wednesday the opposition parties were unable to digest four percent growth of country’s economy under the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) government.
Speaking in response to speeches by the opposition lawmakers during the Punjab Assembly session here, the provincial minister said that opposition parties had shown their skepticism on the figures and statisticsm by the government, adding that the budget figures could not be false as these were not submitted by the former PML-N Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Earlier, Punjab Assembly session started one hour 56 minutes behind its scheduled time of 2 p.m. with speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in the chair.
The Finance Minister Punjab said the pandemic had devastated economies of the world over the past one and a half years but Pakistan’s economy had fared very well due to pragmatic policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding that the fact was even acknowledged by the international financial institutions.
He said neighboring Indian economic receded by five percent while Pakistan’s economy had gained four percent growth, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision had defended the country against the pandemic and economic decline.
Hashim Jawan Bkaht said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had lauded economic recovery of the country, adding that the opposition did not have any focus on the economy.
About the Covid-19 relief, he said the government provided Covid-19 relief of Rs 106 billion during the testing times, adding that opposition leaders, in their budget speeches, behaved like theirs was a golden period in the political period of the country.
About the initiatives in recent budget, the Finance Minister said the government had distributed health cards to the 45 percent population of the province, adding that the PTI government had increased health budget by Rs 137 billion as compared with the 2017-18 budget of the PML-N.
He said the government earmarked construction package of Rs 300 billion in the budget and while 1.7 million jobs have been promoted.
He said the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) had collected more revenue than the FBR during the last fiscal year, adding that the government had decided to give a relief of Rs 50 billion to the businesses in the fiscal budget 2021-22.
The Minister said the pension reforms by the Punjab government would reap a financial benefit of Rs 20 billion to the exchequer, adding that the education budget had been increased by Rs 97 billion in the recent budget.
Hashim Jawan Bakht said a clean drinking water filtration plant would be installed in mere Rs 3 million which four times less than the cost incurred by the previous government on a single filtration plant, adding that the PTI government had closed all doors of kickbacks for the corrupt. Hes aid the provincial Minister had introduced the record law making during the past three years which was a praiseworthy feat.
The Provincial Finance Minister said dearness was a huge challenge faced the government, adding that the wheat price in the international market had increased 29 percent, adding that the Buzdar government gave a support price of Rs 1800 to the farmers while a subsidy of Rs 85 billion has been provided on wheat.
He said record increase had been given in the salaries of the government servants, adding that 1.1 million government servants had been awarded a raise of 10 percent in salaries.
Hashim Jawan Bkaht said every citizen of Punjab would benefit from the public-welfare budget, adding that 8500 schools would be upgraded during the next fiscal year 2021-22.
He said the government had announced historic budget for the districts, adding that 100 percent finances of the Annual Development Plan (ADP) will be released by the government and it would usher in a new era of development in the province.
The Provincial Finance Minister said the government was committed to improve the plight of 110 million people in the province.
The 40 demands for grant of the treasury were approved while the four cut motions by the
opposition were rejected by the House.
Later, the Chair adjourned the session till June 24 (Thursday) tomorrow at 2 p.m.