Federal Budget 2015-2016 of Pakistan By Ishaq Daar(Finance Minister)
Islamabad:On Friday government of Pakistan presented the Budget for Financial year 2015-2015 in the parliament.
Finance Minister ishaq Daar presented the Budget 2015-2016 of Pakistan.
According to the critics and opposition parties this budget is only the game of numbers and nothing.It was a repeated budget as usual.
Finance Minister Ishaq Daar presented the budget,the budget speech shows a total volume of 4.313 trillion which is 9.1percent higher than the running Financial year 2014-15.
The running FY 2014-15(ending on 30 June 2015) budget was Rs 3.9 trillion.
Ishaq Daar said that the defense budget of Pakistan is increased in the budget 2015-16 from 700 billion to 780 billion which is a 11 percent increase in defense budget.
Finance minister Ishaq Daar said that Pakistan is fighting against terrorism since many years which has caused Pakistan a great loss of human beings more than 50000 and also a big loss of money.
He said that Pakistan has faced Rs 107 billion losses due to terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Ishaq Daar said that Government of Pakistan has allocated Rs 100 billion for the rehabilitation of victims of military operation in waziristan and this amount will be spent on thousands of families who have left their houses due to operation.
He said that Growth Rate GDP target is set as 5.5 percent for the upcoming Financial Year 2015-16, this target is higher than the running FY target which was 4.2 percent. He also added that Government is following stabilization policy and by the end of the government in year 2018 the growth rate target will reach to 7 percent.
The government set the Financial deficit target at 4.3 percent of GDP compared to 5 per cent in 2014-15.
Government of Pakistan increased the development budget to 700 billion which is a 29 percent increase.
Finance minister ishaq daar also announced that PML-N government will end the electricity shortfall by the end of the year 2017 by adding 10000 MW electricity in the system.
Ishaq Daar said that foreign exchange reserves have been surged to $ 17 billion which will reach to $19 billion by the end of the FY 2015-16.He said that Karachi stock exchange has reached 34000 points which was at 19916 points in the past showing a 70 percent increase in the stock market business.
On the infrastructure projects, Dar said Lahore-Karachi motorway is the priority of the government. He said amount is also being allocated for the construction of Abdul Hakeem Multan section, Sukkur-Multan and Karachi- Hyderabad sections of the motorway.
Dar said 185 billion rupees have been allocated for the construction of bridges.
He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which will prove to be a game changer is a priority of the government and for this purpose work on Raikot-Islamabad road will be launched during the next fiscal year. For this purpose 29 billion rupees are being allocated. Similarly, 10 billion rupees are being allocated for construction of Islamabad-D. I. Khan Road.
About the revival of Pakistan Railways, the minister said a comprehensive plan has been devised in this regard which include dualisation of railway tracks from Raiwind to Khanewal and Shaddra to Lala Musa. He said rehabilitation of Karachi-Khanpur track will be completed during the next fiscal year. He said 159 weak railway bridges will be rehabilitated by 2017. He said 170 new locomotives will be inducted into the system besides repairing 100 locomotives and purchasing of 1500 new passenger coaches. He said a program is also being launched to renovate railway stations throughout the country besides improving signaling system between Lodhran and Kotri.
Public Sector Development Programme
The Finance Minister also announced Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) amounting to over 1513 billion rupees.
Out of this, 700 billion rupees have been earmarked for the development projects to be carried by the federal government while 814 billion rupees will be disbursed amongst the federating units for their development programs.
Dar said 184 billion rupees are being allocated for the construction of highways while 72 billion rupees are being earmarked for the power related projects.
The minister said 62 billion rupees are being allocated for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project. In the first phase, western alignment of the corridor will be completed on priority so that economic benefits reach the people.
He said the government plans to initiate new programmes to improve productivity in industrial and agricultural sectors and achieve food security and enhance exports.
Dar said special emphasis will also be laid on the construction of motorways including Gojra-Multan, Sukkur-Hyderabad and Sukkur -Multan sections.
Under the development program, 20 billion rupees are being earmarked for the promotion of higher education and 20 billion rupees for health sector projects. He said it has also been decided to launch Prime Minister’s health insurance scheme during the next financial year.
Dar said heavy investment is being made on the development projects in the water sector to ensure maximum water conservation for irrigation and power generation purpose.
He said Diamer Bhasha dam is most significant in this regard which is very important for the future of Pakistan. He said this dam will have the capacity of 4.7 million acre feet water reservoir besides generation 4500 megawatts of cheap electricity. He said 15 billion rupees are being allocated for the procurement of land for the dam while six billion rupees have been earmarked for construction of first phase of this dam.
He said special attention is also being laid on ensuring provision of water in Balochistan province. For this purpose, delay action dams, flood dispersal structures, canals and small dams will be constructed in the province which will be completed during the next two years. He said work on Basool Dam in Gwadar will be launched during the next fiscal year.
He said similarly attention will be laid on the completion of ongoing irrigation projects including Raini Canal, right bank outfall drain and Darwat dam.
He said work on Makhi Farash canal will be launched during the next fiscal year. In Punjab, he said work will be launched on Ghabbi Dam in Chakwal and Nala Dek in Sialkot.
Dar said work on Kurram Tungi dam in North Waziristan and Gomal Zam Dam in South Waziristan will be continued with an objective to complete them at the earliest.
Coming to the education sector, the minister said the government believes in the promotion of education and ensures raising its standard. For this purpose, 20 billion rupees are being allocated for 143 projects of higher education commission besides allocating 51 billion rupees for the Higher Education Commission for current expenditures.
Dar said estimate for the current expenditures during the next fiscal year is 3128 billion rupees while the revised estimates for the outgoing fiscal year are 3151 billion rupees. He said the figure shows that the current expenditures are being reduced gradually.
Dar presenting new tax proposals said the country needs ample financial resources to ensure socio economic development and betterment of the people.
The minister said that to discourage undocumented economy, it has been decided that 0.6 per cent withholding tax may would be imposed on the fund transfers and banking instruments. However, the tax payers who file their returns will be exempted from this tax.
He said tax rate on dividend is being increased from 10 to 12.5 per cent. However, the tax rate on mutual funds will remain 10 per cent.
He said that 10 per cent advance income tax which was being received on the bills more than 100,000 rupees will now be imposed on the bills up to 75,000 rupees due to decrease in power tariff.
Dar said it is proposed that one time tax on rich persons and companies which have the income of more than 500 million rupees per annum at a rate of four per cent to ensure raising of funds for TDPs which is estimated up to 80 billion rupees.
The minister also announced several tax relief measures to promote corporate culture and documentation of the economy.
Under the policy, the rate of tax on companies which was 33 percent this year is being brought down to 32 percent for the next financial year.
Profit on transmission line projects is being exempted from income tax for 10 years to incentivise the private sector to invest in electricity transmission projects. The facility would be available to all those projects that would be launched by June 2018.
He said presently salaried taxpayers with taxable income between 400,000 and 500,000 rupees pay five per cent tax. This rate is being reduced to two per cent to provide relief to this segment of salaried taxpayers. The rate for non-salaried individuals and association of persons of the same category would be seven per cent as against 10 per cent during current financial year.
Dar said the rate of Federal Excise Duty (FED) on cigarettes is proposed to be increased from the existing 58 percent to 63 percent to discourage smoking.
Sales tax on import of different varieties of mobile phones is proposed to be increased by 100 per cent.
He said exemptions worth 120 billion rupees given under different SROs in the realms of customs, sales tax and income tax are being withdrawn.
He announced that the power of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to issue SROs is being withdrawn and now this power would be used by the federal government in special circumstances.
The minister announced a package of incentives for construction sector.
Bricks and crush is being exempted from sales tax for three years up to 30th of June 2018 so as to bring down the cost of construction.
Increase in Pay, Pension and Allowances
Dar announced a grant of 7.5 percent ad-hoc relief allowance in the pay and pensions of government employees from 1st of next month.
He said as per recommendations of the Committee formed by the government for the purpose, adhoc increases of 2011 and 2012 are to be merged with pay scales.
All government employees would get 25 percent increase in their medical allowance.
A pre-mature increment would be given to employees in grade five. Last year premature increment was given from grade one to four.
The minister said from 1st of next month all federal government employees with PhD or D.Sc would get an allowance of 10,000 rupees per month. This would replace the existing Science and Technology allowance of 7500 and PhD allowance of 2250 rupees.
Senior Private Secretary, Private Secretaries and Assistance Private Secretaries would get 100 percent increase in their special pay.
Orderly allowance and special additional pension is also being increased to 12,000 rupees per month.
On the analogy of government employees, minimum wages for labourers are also being increased from the existing 12,000 to 13,000 rupees per month.
Dar said there would be 25 percent increase in the medical allowance of pensioners.
He announced resumption of the policy for revival of surrendered portion of commuted value of the pension.
The Finance Minister said the government would bear an additional expenditure of 46 billion rupees on increase in pay, pension and allowances.
He said the government has also decided to own loans upto one million rupees and its markup payable by widow of a Shaheed by 30th of June this year.
He said the PM has decided that federal and Balochistan governments will together pay compensations worth 3.5 billion rupees to the affectees of Mirani dam.
Incentives to boost Construction Sector
Dar said various incentives are being announced in the budget to give boost to the construction sector.
He said incentives will also be given to the industrialists so that they could provide more employment opportunities. He said under the green field industrial package of the PM, tax exemption is being extended up to 30th June 2017. Similarly, he said exemption in sales tax and custom duty on the import of solar panels is being extended up to 30th June 2016.
He said exemption in income tax on the equipment being used for the production of solar and wind energy plants are also being extended for the next five years.
Dar said the companies in the business of Halal meat will be exempted from income tax for four years.
The minister said various tax rebates and exemptions are being announced in the budget for the promotion of fish business, import of agriculture machinery and equipments and production of these equipments besides installation of solar tube wells.
He said to facilitate the people of far flung and under developed areas, exemption of FED and withholding tax is being given in the civil aviation sector.
Dar said the government has decided to provide various incentives and tax exemptions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to flourish business and industries to overcome the losses incurred due to terrorism and extremism.
Incentives to Exporters
The minister announced various steps to give incentives to exporters for giving a boost to the exports in the coming years.
He said special incentives will be given in various sectors of exports, including product diversification, value addition, trade facilitation, enhanced market access and institutional strengthening.
For this purpose, six billion rupees are being allocated in the budget besides taking steps for reconstitution of export development fund.
He said significant measures will be taken to enhance textile exports of the country.
Coming to agriculture sector, the Dar said with the approval of the PM, it has been decided to issue interest free loans for the installation of solar tubewells and convert the existing tubewells to solar ones.
The minister said the government is focusing on expanding the volume of small agriculture loans for the benefit of growers and loans worth 600 billion rupees will be disbursed during the next financial year.
Dar said the government has prioritised the energy sector and has launched several projects in this regard. He said work is in progress to add 7000 megawatts to the national grid besides another 3600 megawatts through LNG based power plants by December 2017. He said in addition projects like Dasu, Diamer Bhasha Dam and Karachi nuclear power plants are also being executed to address the energy crisis.
The minister said 248 billion rupees are being allocated for energy sector with an objective to generate additional cheap electricity and overcome load shedding by 2017.
He said work on on-going projects will be expedited during the current fiscal year and a huge amount has been allocated for this purpose.
He said work on various projects for the small dams and link canals will not only continue during the
next fiscal year but it will be expedited in all the four provinces. Similarly he said the projects to overcome wastage of flood water will also be continued with focus to complete them in the shortest possible time.
BISP ( Be Nazir Income support Programme)
The Finance Minister said under the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) allocations are being enhanced up to 102 billion rupees which will cater to 31 million people of 5.3 million deserving families. He said similarly budget of Bait-ul-Mal is being doubled from two to four billion rupees.
Prime Minister Health Insurance Scheme
Dar announced to launch Prime Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme at a cost of nine billion rupees to provide insurance to the patients suffering from serious and contagious diseases.
He said initially the scheme is being launched in 23 districts, which will be expanded during the next three years to facilitate 60 percent poorest segments of society.
He said under this scheme, secondary medical coverage will also be provided in the tribal areas, Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
PM Youth Business Loan Scheme
He said under the PM Youth Business Loan Scheme, 15,000 loan applications have been approved while 20,000 applications are under consideration. He said under this scheme, rate of markup is being reduced from eight to six percent in the next fiscal year.
Dar announced to provide internships to 50,000 unemployed graduates having education of 16 years during the next fiscal year.
He said under this scheme, 12,000 rupees will be given as stipend to the internees. He said under the PM laptop scheme, 70,000 laptops have been disbursed among the outstanding students, which will continue in the next fiscal year. He said for all these schemes, 20 billion rupees are being allocated.
He said under a ‘Universal Tele-centers’ program 12 billion rupees are being allocated to set up 217 tele-centers all over the country in the first phase. Work is underway to connect 128 tehsils of the country especially under developed areas with fiber optic. Another program in telecommunication sector is being launched at a cost of 3.6 billion rupees which will connect rural areas with the rest of the country.
Medium Term Macro-Economic Framework
The Finance Minister also announced a three year medium term macro-economic framework spanning over the financial year 2015-16 to 2017-18.