LAHORE - The Punjab Government is going to present a public welfare-oriented last budget of its tenure, principally in view of the next general elections. The government is very clear on one point that the budget is its last bid to lure a large population of the country to re-elect it. The large segment, which is highlighted in this bid, (as per their claim) is the poor people of the country, who suffered indiscriminate hardships during the PPP’s four year tenure.

According to sources he main thrust of the budget is development of rural areas, particularly of Southern Punjab where a huge outlay is expected in the Annual Development Programme for the next fiscal year.

The PML-N budget managers have put forward proposals minimizing the financial burden on the layman, side by side providing some relief to the corporate sector both industrial and agricultural in the next budget.

 The provincial government, as part of its drive to keep the growers satisfied, is striving to ensure purchase of wheat on fixed price, and will also announce second phase of the Green Tractor Scheme.

The Punjab budget is likely to be presented by mid June. After elevation of the former Finance Minister of Punjab, Kamran Michael, to the Senate, Education Minister Mujataba Shujaur Rahman is likely present the budget.

The impression following from the May Day lead, taken by the Punjab over the Federal Government, to raise the minimum daily wages to Rs9000 is a clear indication of its intentions.

Following the national budget, the Punjab Government will also enhance the salaries and pension.

The main focus in the provincial budget is on controlling price hike of daily items, continuation and expansion of the already undertaken schemes to cater to the housing, transport, health, educational and infrastructural needs of the poor and in addition to that, introducing some more schemes to provide financial cushion to layman, students and the jobless.

The Punjab budget is also expected to envisage long term and short projects on energy sector, roads and other means of communication, and water schemes for the growers. For the southern Punjab, the proposals are for launching potable water projects, village to the market roads, setting up of vocational training institution, women universities, enhancing the scope and upgrading the Basic Health Units and operating more mobile medical units, yellow cabs schemes for youth, and introducing new transport projects. For the jobless youth self employment scheme and interest free loans can be specially announced, in addition to providing better health facilities in the rural areas and setting up of the medical universities in the province.

Sources say that allocation of funds for distribution of the announced further three lakh laptops to the students has come down in priority in view of the allegations leveled by the PML-N detractors about their purchase and distribution. Ownership right may be given to the residents of Katchiabadis while no tax is likely to be imposed on small businessmen and on five marla houses.

Agri tax is likely to be avoided once again while CVT on sale and purchase of property may be considered.

Special attention will be paid to law and order in the next budget.

The government will make 100 model police stations, equipped with hi tech, operational at the earliest when the allowances of the judicial officers are also expected to be increased in the next provincial budget.

Sources further say that early completion of the on going transportation projects in all major cities may also be a part of the next budget.

Sources say the Chief Minister Punjab has passed instructions to the party MPAs to identify new development schemes in their respective constituencies and maintain a close watch on the present ones in order to ensure their earliest completion in a transparent manner.

The CM has also asked them to maintain liaison with their voters and supporters to know the problems so that arrangements could be made in the next budget to address them.