National budget: Rs152bn to be provided to tribal districts as part of a 10-year project

PESHAWAR: Rs152 billion will be provided for the uplift of tribal districts as part of the earlier announced 10-year project totalling Rs 1 trillion. The announcement was made by the minister of state for revenue Hammad Azhar while presenting Rs 7, 022 billion austerity budget in National Assembly on Tuesday.

The federal revenue minister presented the national budget as opposition raised ruckus on the floor of the national assembly. The opposition parties gathered in front of the treasury benches and chanted ‘go Niazi go’ and ‘Say no to IMF’. They accused the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government of the current economic vows of the country.

The revenue minister in a budget speech said that the federal government will give special attention to the Tribal district, recently merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and efforts will be made to address all the grievances of tribal people.

It was announced that all cabinet members, including prime minister, have agreed to a 10 per cent cut in their salary. During the next fiscal year, salaries for grades 1 to 16 employees will be increased 10 per cent, while salaries for grades 17 to 20 will be increased by 5 per cent. There will be no increase in salaries of grade 21, 22 employees of the federal government.

The federal government has increased the minimum wage to Rs 17,500. Earlier, the minimum wage was Rs 15000.  The government has decided to maintain the sales tax at 17 per cent while Tax on marble will be increased to 17 per cent.  The budget speech reveals that tax on sugary beverages to be increased to 13 per cent during the next fiscal year.

The budget speech reveals that those companies that provide jobs to new graduates will be given tax rebates. The passing out after 2017 will be considered as new graduates. The government will impose super tax on those individuals whose income is above Rs 0.5 billion.