A tax-free people-friendly AJK Budget for next fiscal year 2017-18 with a total outlay of Rs 94.41 billion was presented in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly here on Thursday. AJK Finance Minister Dr. Najeeb Naqi announcing the budget said despite challenges, a balanced budget has been presented. He said a huge amount of over Rs22 billion have been allocated for the next Annual Development Programme. The Minister said due to government’s successful economic measures and financial discipline the economy was on the right direction. He said under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) various power generation and infrastructure projects were being completed speedily in AJK.
It is for the first time in AJK’s history that there was Rs10 billion raise in the development budget and included current expenditures of Rs71.13 billion, he added. Naqi said, there would be 10 percent rise in salaries and pensions of government employees while the minimum monthly wages of laborers and industrial workers would now be Rs15000. He said Rs71,130.000 billion has been proposed in the Finance bill for Recurring Expenditure which includes General Administration 2328.050 million, Board of Revenue Rs794.653 million, Stamps Rs16.000 million, Land Record and Settlement Rs27.075 million, Relief and Rehabilitation Rs741.710 million, Pension Rs11,000.000 million, Public Relations Rs125.850 million, Administration of Justice Rs1291.980 million, Home (Police) Rs4897.830 million, Jails Rs173.540 million, Civil Defence Rs120.540 million, Armed Service Board Rs61.350 million, Communication and Works Rs3320.760 million, Education Rs22551.418 million, Health Rs6626.105 million, Sports, Youth Culture and Transport Rs69.140 million, Social welfare and Women Affairs Rs269.770 million, Agriculture Rs655.090 million, Animal Husbandry Rs633.300 million, Food Rs211.219 million, State Trading Rs1500.000 million, Forests Rs861.540 million, Cooperative Rs58.820 million, Electricity Rs6563.600 million, Local Government and Rural Development Rs492.550 million, Industries, Labor and Mineral Resources Rs127.080 million, Printing Press Rs55.860 million, Sericulture Rs80.280 million, Tourism, wildlife and Fisheries Rs141.864 million, Miscellaneous (Grants) Rs4590.186 million, Capital Expenditure Rs600.000 million. An income of Rs 71,130.000 million has been Expected from various departments and resources which includes Provincial Taxes Rs6300.140 million, Land Record and Settlement Rs99.090 million, Stamps Rs220.290 million, AJ&K Transport Authority Rs25.000 million, Armed Service Board Rs15.000 million, Administration of Justice Rs152.910 million, Home (police) Rs62.010 million, Jails Rs0.180 million, Communication and Works Rs217.660 million, Education Rs155.010 million, Health Rs343.140 million, Agriculture Rs5.110 million, Wild Life/ Fisheries Rs26.750 million, Animal Husbandry Rs30.000 million, Forests Rs312.750 million, Electricity Rs12 million, Printing Press Rs52.000 million, Industries and Labor Rs65.000 million, Sericulture Rs3.280 million, Minerals Rs5.000 million, Tourism Rs19.920 million, Religious Affairs Rs40.870 million, Miscellaneous Rs541.570 million, Income from Kashmir Council Rs14,300.000 million, Share of Federal Taxes Rs26,000.000 million, Grant-in-Aid for Revenue Deficit Rs13,000.000 million, Water usage charges Mangla Rs1,300.000 million, Adjustment Overdraft Rs 4270.000 million.
An amount of Rs21,480.000 million has been allocated for Development sector which is doubled as compare to last fiscal year. The Finance minister declared it a big achievement of the present government. Giving details of the Development expenditure the minister stated that for Agriculture/ Livestock Rs490.000 million, Civil Defence Rs100.000 million, Development Authorities Rs135.000 million, Education Rs1700.000 million, Environment Rs60.000 million, Foreign Aided Projects Rs1897.000 million, Forestry, Fisheries, Wildlife Rs550.000 million, Health Rs769.000 million, Industries & Minerals Rs380.000 million, Transport Rs20.000 million, Information & Media Development Rs40.000 million, Information Technology Rs225.000 million, Local Government & Rural Development Rs2005.000 million, Physical Planning & Housing Rs1525.000 million, Power Rs3520.000 million, Research and Development Rs174.000 million, Social welfare & Women Development Rs100.000 million, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Rs100.000 million, Sports, Youth and Culture Rs200.000 million, Tourism
Rs250.000 million, Communication and Works Rs9040.000 million, Foreign Aid Rs1800.000 million has been allocated.
The budget session was held with Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir in the Chair. Earlier the AJK Cabinet met with Prime Minster Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan in the chair. The cabinet accorded approval of the budget Rs 91.41 billion for the next Fiscal year 2017-18 and revised budget Rs 76.51250 billion for fiscal year 2016-17.