Published Date: Apr 24, 2019
Relief for elderly people: ‘Bahimmat Social Protection’ scheme on the cards in Punjab
Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that in an effort to provide social security and protection to senior citizen of age 65 and above, the government of Punjab is preparing ‘Bahimmat Social Protection’ scheme which will be launched soon. He stated this at a pre-budget consultation and book launch titled ‘Growth and Inequality in Pakistan’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Tuesday. The Minister said that social protection programmes should be a large part of the government’s medium- and long-term economic frameworks. “The Punjab government in the forthcoming budget will take care of the marginalized segment of the society and we will allocate more resources in social protection funds,” he added.
Bakht further said that the provincial government is looking for out-of-the-box solutions, such as materializing the public-private partnership to help improve the governance and resource mobilization. He averred that there are some structural changes on the expenditure side of the budget, such as sticky expenditures of pensions, which swelled significantly and dictating our revenue allocations. “In last seven years, there were around Rs 2048 billion of PSDP spent in the whole Punjab, where Rs 1048 billion were spent on Lahore only and Rs 1000 billion were spent on rest of the Punjab, which created the regional inequalities,” he added.
He said, “We have to unlock our dead investment, which is land, and this crucial resource should be rationally utilized. The future is digital and digitization of the economy is the way forward for growth and development,” he added.
Dr. Hafiz A. Pasha, renowned economist and former finance minister, call upon the government for equal tax treatment for all citizen and no special groups, including judges and army officials, should be given tax exemptions. He said that only a broad base political consensus on the economy can help the government to get out of the economic quagmire, where all major political parties can agree upon the common reforms agenda. “The elite of the society who enjoy extraordinary privileges within the legal framework of the country are largely responsible for the current chaotic economic situation in the country. The quantum of the cost of state captured elite is whopping Rs 2000 billion, which can be used for social protection and wellbeing of the marginal and poor of the country,” he added.Source: https://fp.brecorder.com/2019/04/20190424466832/