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AJK presents Rs44.55 bn tax-free deficit budget

MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Kashmir government announced Monday an overall consolidated tax-free budget of Rs44.55 billion for the fiscal year 2011-12 with a development outlay of over Rs8.28 billion and a deficit of 5.06 billion.Azad Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rasheed Abbasi presented the budget in the AJK Legislative Assembly as the last budget of this government since the general elections in AJK are scheduled to be held on June 26.

The budget sets aside Rs8.28 billion for development, up by 34 percent over the outgoing fiscal year’s original allocation of Rs6.17 billion as compared to original spending of Rs6.28 billion.

The total revenue receipts were estimated at Rs31.62 billion including share from income of Kashmir Council Rs6.9 billion, Mangla Dam water usage charges Rs750 million and share from federal taxes Rs9.94 billion while the AJK government would generate Rs13.64 billion from local resources and the deficit would be met with the assistance of the federal government.

In the development budget, priority has been given to transport and communication sector by allocating a sum of Rs3.31 billion for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges. A sum of Rs1050 million has been fixed for development projects in the power sector.

Local government department would be provided Rs800 million during the next fiscal year while Rs916 million has been allocated for the foreign funded projects and the education sector would get Rs635million for its development schemes. In the non-development expenditures head, an amount of Rs11.083 billion has been allocated for the education sector, Rs4.96 billion for electricity department, Rs3.63 billion in the head of miscellaneous expenditures, Rs1.99 billion for state trading, Rs2.58 billion for health, Rs1.39 billion for general administration, Rs2.3 billion for the payment of pension and Rs2.76 billion for police department.

The minister also presented the revised budget estimates of Rs37.54 billion for the outgoing fiscal year 2010-11 in the house, out of which Rs31.26 billion for non-development expenditures and Rs6.28 billion for the development expenditures. The revised budget shows a deficit of Rs6.79 billion.

Earlier, the AJK cabinet approved the budget for the fiscal year 2011-12 and revised budget for the year 2010-11. The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan. In his keynote address to the AJ&K lawmakers, he said that the government has presented a well-balanced budget within available resource, in which almost all the sectors have been focused.

He said the budget provides for 34% increase in the annual development programme while salaries of civil servants and pension have been increased in line with the increase by the Federal Government. He thanked Pakistan government for provision of additional Rs 4 billion for the development budget.

Elaborating the salient features of the budget, the finance minister stated that from total revenue collection, an amount of Rs134645.0 million will be generated from state resources whereas Rs720 million from Mangla Dam Royalty, Rs6900.0 million from Azad Jammu & Kashmir Council and a share of Rs9940.0 million from the federal government taxes.

He told the House that revised budget for the fiscal year 2010-11 has been estimated as Rs37548.011 million and the sectors from which the government is likely to generate income are as; RS3300 million from provincial excise, Rs10 million from land record and settlement, Rs37 million from stamps, forest Rs350 million, registration Rs25.6 million, jails Rs0.37 million, administration of justice Rs30 million, home department Rs45 million, education Rs60 million, health Rs30 million, agriculture Rs3.5 million, animal husbandry Rs10 million, co-operative Rs0.030 million, industries, labour and minerals Rs30 million, sericulture Rs1.50 million, miscellaneous Rs1800 million, communication and works Rs255 million, electricity Rs6900 million, printing press Rs10 million, armed services board Rs12 million, religious affairs Rs15 million, food Rs550 million, tourism, wild life and fisheries Rs25 million, water uses charges Rs720 million, Rs6,900 million income from Kashmir Council and Rs9940 million share from federal taxes. Total revenue generation has been estimated as Rs26157.150 million with Rs5,060 million deficit, which will be met by the federal government.

The finance minister told the House that Rs1396.709 million have been allocated for administration, Rs433.391 million for board of revenue, Rs12.088 million for stamps, Rs14.441 million for land record and settlement, Rs685.775 million for rehabilitation and reconstruction, Rs2,300 million for pensions, Rs75.097 for public relations department, Rs641.522 million for judiciary, Rs2769.581 million for police, Rs83.330 million for jails, Rs39.984 million for civil defence, Rs30.821 million for armed services board, Rs1,473.203 million for communication and works, Rs11083.674 million for education, Rs2,582.315 for public health, Rs44.420 million for sports, youth and culture, Rs114.957 million for religious affairs, Rs82.133 million for social welfare and women development, Rs336.287 for agriculture, Rs346.194 million for animal husbandry, Rs116.865 million for food, Rs1993.650 for trade, Rs481.612 million for forest, Rs37.413 million for co-operative, Rs4968.002 million for electricity, Rs258.595 for local government and rural development, Rs78.227 million for industries and minerals, Rs35.309 million for printing press, Rs42.555 million for sericulture, Rs74.326 million tourism, wild life and fisheries and Rs3,632.474 million in miscellaneous, so in total Rs36265 million are allocated for non development sector.

Discussing the development sector, the minister revealed that Rs118.00 million for agriculture and live stock, Rs32 million for civil defence, Rs135 million for development authorities, Rs635 million for education, Rs15 million for environment, Rs299 million for foreign aided projects, Rs287 million for forest, fisheries and wild life, Rs16 million for information and media development, Rs200 million for information technology, Rs143 million for industries, Rs800 for local government, Rs1050 million for hydel power, Rs613 million for physical planning and housing, Rs75 million for research and development, Rs25 million for social welfare, Rs140 million for sports, Rs3,310 million for communications and Rs125 million for tourism. A total amount of Rs8,200 million have been allocated for the fiscal year 2011-12, showing 34 percent increase in previous year’s development budget.

The finance minister further said development budget amounting Rs8,284 million will be provided by the federal government whereas Ministry of Kashmir and Gilgat-Baltistan affairs will provide Rs2,494 million additional amount.


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