RS 19.93 billion tax free AJK budget presented
22 June 2006
The Pakistan Tribune
Muzaffarabad: The Azad Kashmir tax-free budget for the next financial year amounting to over Rs. 19.93 billion was presented sin the Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly in Muzaffarabad on Thursday. The budget provides the development outlay the tune of Rs. 6 billion, which shows 17.6 percent increase against the current financial year allocations.Non-development expenditure has been estimated to over Rs. 13.93 billion against the total revenue receipt of over Rs. 10.77 billion.The short fall of over Rs. 3.15 billion between the revenue receipt and non-development expenditure will be met by the federal government.The AJK Finance Minister Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan presented the budget in the house. Special emphasis has been given in the next financial year budget on communication, Rural Development, Foreign Aided Project Electricity, Education, Health, Forest and Information Technology Sectors.Highest priority in the budget has been given to communication sector with an allocation of Rs. 1.90 billion. Under this sector besides the completion of links road and bridges roads leading to Pakistan will be built 15- kilometer roads each in 28 constituencies will be built to provide communication facilities to the people.Local Government and rural development sector would get Rs. 850 million during the next fiscal year. 475 water schemes besides the completions of 316-kilometer rural roads will be completed while 32 primary schools buildings will be constructed.The Foreign Aided projects would get over Rs. 760 million while Electricity Sector Rs. 670.5 million during the next financial year.The Education Sector would receive Rs. 550 million to further increase the literacy percentage in Azad Kashmir. The building of 201 primary, 182 middle and 207 high schools will be completed while 12 inter college and 21 degree colleges' buildings would also be completed during the next financial year.Rs. 250.80 million have been earmarked for Health Sector for the next fiscal year. The building of Districts headquarters would be improved 30 new first aid centres of health insinuations in the quake-hit areas of the state in collaboration with Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority (ERRA). Under Information Technology sector, besides the setting up of computer laboratories in 51 inter colleges and Information Technology Park would be established through public and private partnership to create employment opportunities for the educated youth.Sufficient funds have been earmarked in Forest, Industries, Agriculture and social sectors.Presenting the Budget, the Finance Minister, Raja Nisar Ahmad Khan told the house that over 11.31 billion rupees have been distributed among the affectees of earthquake and 50 billion rupees would also be spent for the reconstruction of quake affected areas of Azad Kashmir and NWFP.The Finance Minister announced to set up 21 female training institutions, and shelter homes at Muzaffarabad, Kotli and Mirpur Districts.The Finance Minister highly appreciated the commitment and support of President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Pakistan Army, NGO's and people of Pakistan for their relief and rehabilitations activities in the quake affected areas of Azad Kashmir.The Finance Minister welcomed the ongoing Peace processes and Confidence building measures between Pakistan and India to reach for a peaceful and acceptable solution of the Kashmir dispute according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people. He urged India to Positively respond to the proposals of President Musharraf for paving the way for the settlement of long standing Kashmir dispute.He also admired the launching of bus service between Azad and occupied Kashmir, which he said, would help facilitate the divided families living on both sides of line of control.The Finance Minister also presented the revised budget estimates amounting to over 18 billion 58 crore rupees for the current financial year.