Government trying to work out stable policies for the growth: Aysha Pasha
Punjab Finance Minister Dr Aysha Pasha said that the government evolved balanced and stable policies for the growth of the province while allocations of resources for education, health and south Punjab development will further increase in the forthcoming fiscal budget. The government has also planned to expand ambit of the GST on services and include the medical doctors and others in the tax net from next year and automate the sales tax collection mechanism. in these days 57 sectors in sales tax net. She was addressing the Lahore Economic Journalist Association (LEJA) members here at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday. The President LEJA Sudhir Ch, Vice President LCCI Nasir Saeed was also there. The President LEJA Sudhir Ch in his welcome note appreciated the Punjab government which first time made an economist as finance minister of the province as a result better economic management is witnessed.
The minister said that revenue collections in the first half of the ongoing fiscal year has increased by 31 percent while the Punjab government gradually increasing its revenue generation in order to reduce the dependence on the federal government. Dr Aysha said that Rs 160 billion loan from Chinese Exim Bank will transfer to Punjab government in the coming days while no loan in any other head has taken for Orange Train Project while priority spending amount will approve by the Punjab assembly through supplementary grants.
She said the Punjab government is providing Rs 23 billion food subsidy which is also benefiting the rich people. Now the government has planned to give targeted subsidy which will only cater the real needy people. The minister claimed that the inflation rate was declined by 4 and half percent after reduction in petroleum products prices. On a question, she said the debt burden on Punjab is Rs 421 billion while the government is supporting the Bank of Punjab in various issues. She said that the government is working for automation of sale tax collection which will increase revenue generation and create transparency in the system. She cleared that the Punjab Revenue Authority will not burden the poor.
The minister claimed overcoming the energy crisis and believed that if mega water reservoirs will not built than water crisis is around the corner. Dr Ayhsa said that the US barred Punjab from Coal Power Plants but the government has assured that the modern technology plants are being established which are environment friendly while the government focusing on alternate energy sources. She said the 50 percent of the Punjab population is below than 25 years ago for which the government was doing the best efforts to ensure better education and health facilities and market need based vocational training and technical education.