Meeting of Strategic Committee on Annual Development Fund of Punjab

Strategic Committee on Annual Development Fund of Punjab met today in its first meeting under chair of Minister Finance Hashim Jawan Bakht. Provincial Minister Health Dr. Yasmeen Rashid, Minister School Education Dr. Murad Raas, Minister Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayon Sarfraz, Chairman Planning and Development Department Habib-ur-Rehman Gillani, Secretary Finance Sheikh Hamid, Secretary Planning and Development Iftekhar Saho, Special Secretary Finance Saifullah Dogar, Additional Secretary Finance (Budget) Ubaidullah and other members of committee attended the meeting.

The meeting was focused to get proposals for ADP according to the priorities of new provincial government prior to budget preparation .Secretary Finance apprised the meeting regarding financial condition of the province, budget estimates, revenue rates and details of expenditures whereas Chairman Planning and Development briefed the members about the projects of previous government and planning for preparation of ADP for fiscal year 2018-19. Secretary Finance informed the meeting that provincial governments set the scale of targets of revenue collection according to the targets of federal government. He said if FBR fails to achieve its fixed targets then provincial governments' budget is also affected. FBR has collected 20 percent less tax revenue out of its fixed target, due to this provincial government is facing difficulties in preparation of its budget, he added. Moreover social sector expenditures particularly unnecessary jobs in Health Department and infrastructure projects are the cause of increase in expenses. Committee members expressed their concern on construction projects of previous government, unlawful employment and stressed upon the provision of quality education instead of ongoing schemes, issuance of health cards and elimination of unnecessary projects. Construction of Danish Schools and network of roads by previous government was also criticized by the committee members.

Minister Finance Hashim Jawan Bakht appealed all the committee members to give their proposals in given time for ADP planning formulation and directed Finance Department and Planning and Development Department to prepare the framework of development planning according to the mandate of new government and suggestions of committee members, and prepare an action plan to include ongoing schemes of the districts in Development Plan. Finance Minister concluded that the forthcoming budget will be a representative budget of the whole province rather than Lahore centric budget.

Thursday, September 6, 2018