Thursday, November 30, 2023

Punjab Cabinet approves four-month budget of Rs2076.2 billion

Punjab Cabinet approves four-month budget of Rs2076.2 billion
October 30, 2023 Web Desk

LAHORE (92 News) - The 31st meeting of the Punjab Cabinet convened on Monday at the Chief Minister's Office, presided over by Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

The session saw the green light for the Punjab government's budget covering the upcoming four months from November 2023 to February 2024. The approved budget totals a substantial 2076.2 billion rupees, including a development expenditure of Rs 351 billion.

During the meeting, a significant allocation of Rs 50 billion was sanctioned to provide relief to the residents of the province. Additionally, substantial allotments were made towards crucial sectors; the health sector received an allocation of Rs 208 billion, while the education sector secured Rs 222 billion. Further, Rs 10 billion have been set aside for the advancement of the agricultural sector.

The cabinet also committed Rs 1.8 billion for the National Health Support Program, along with an allocation of Rs 5 billion for Punjab textbooks. In a move addressing climate change challenges, Rs 7.30 was earmarked for necessary initiatives.

The Finance Secretary delivered a comprehensive briefing on the salient features of the forthcoming four-month budget, elucidating on the robust financial standing and surplus resources of the Punjab government. Notably, it was emphasized that the budget maintains a surplus rather than a deficit.

A significant milestone was achieved with the Cabinet's approval of implementing a minimum wage of Rs 32,000 for workers effective from July 1, 2023. The meeting also placed a strong emphasis on anti-smog measures, particularly in areas including Sheikhupura, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Lahore, and Kasur.

Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi urged a zero-tolerance approach towards violations of these measures, directing commissioners and deputy commissioners to rigorously enforce regulations on smoke-emitting vehicles and brick kilns.

Stringent measures were advised for ongoing construction projects, emphasizing regular sprinkling of water, and a strict prohibition on crop residue burning. The Punjab Price Control for Essential Commodities Ordinance 2023 also received Cabinet approval.