Among one of most controversial political tug-of-war scenarios, province of Punjab has finally got its budget for fiscal year 2022-23. In a surprise decision, the Governor of Punjab convened a parallel session of in house apart from one held in meeting room; and this aggravated of knives as well bad taste like how politics dropped to personal lows. Speaker Pervez Elahi stood up fast with his adamant attitude that until the bureaucratic hierarchy is criticized for intervention in house affairs he won’t allow budget session forward, continue. PML-N after testing and error episode selected for emergency measures, going out alone at discretion of constitutional head of province, and budget passed through.
total expenses of in budget is 3.226 billion rupees, with No new taxes. It has some innovative features to eliminate backlog of development schemes; and helping the needyon the masses. hefty amount of Rs 685 billion has been allocated under the ADP. with a special focus on lifting layers below poverty line. The social sector leads the way with a staggering amount of Rs 272.6 billion, including Rs 172.55 billion and Rs 64.56 billion. for health and education, respectively. In addition, there are 164 billion rupees. for infrastructure development with certain pie of 80.8 billion rupees for roads. These generous slots are coming with sentence of 15% increase in pay scale for in public sector and increase by 5% in pensions. From 20% rise in assistance, allocated 190.58 billion rupees. for social welfare for population of 125 million, including 100 billion rupees for utility support program next to special slot of 31.5 billion rupees for only southern Punjab.
Although budget is progressive, remains to make sure the statistical provisions walk conversation or not. In a highly polarized environment, in which is provincial politics is in these days, need of hour to create space for at least reconciliation in economic environment. Sharp inflation and depreciation of the rupee made life is hard and that’s where public representatives have role to play in doing national discourse is convenient. Punjab for been an oasis for a long time for development and that’s why it year also 47% of ADP went towards infrastructure. This resolve will however remain half- baked and unfinished if political stability is not heralded in.
Published in Express Tribune, 17 June.th2022.
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