The Azad Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday presented tax-free budget for financial year 2021-22 at the AJK State Legislative Assembly.
The AJK budget is 14% higher than the previous year’s one. An amount of Rs 144.4 billion has been proposed to arrange from different internal and external sources during the fiscal year 2021-22 out of which Rs 113.4 billion were proposed for recurring expenditures and Rs.1.018 billion for the overdraft adjustment.
The session was presided over by Shah Ghulam Qadir, the Speaker of the State assembly, and Sardar Aamir Altaf, the Deputy Speaker. Dr. Najeeb Naqi, the Finance Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, presented the Finance Bill in the presence of 20 assembly members as the rest of the lawmakers were busy in their constituencies in connection with the forthcoming elections.
Moreover, Dr. Najeeb Naqi said that the budget was not only the game of income and expenditures but that was the reflection of the state’s national resources, ambition, creative abilities, and future planning.
According to the budget, Government of Pakistan will arrange Rs 28 billion for the Annual Development Program (ADP) of AJK out of which Rs 2 billion will be foreign aid. The Finance Minister told the session that Rs 22.6 billion will be arranged from the income tax and Rs 8.9 billion from excise duty etc.
He said, “I can claim with full confidence and courage that our government made the best possible utilization of resources in accordance with our manifesto and expectations of the masses. When took over, we inherited a deficit of Rs 25 billion in recurring expenditures but we are leaving with an increase of Rs.10 billion in it.”
Rs 59.5 billion will be arranged as a 3.64 % share in the federal taxes pool, Rs 22.1 billion from the internal sources. Rs 700 million from water-use charges and Rs 600 million will be generated from capital receipts.
Talking of the sector-wise allocation, Dr. Naqi told the session that the Rs.33.4 billion has been reserved for the education sector, Rs.23 billion for pensions, Rs.11.5 billion for health, Rs.8.9 billion for electricity, Rs.7.2 billion for police, Rs.5.4 billion for general administration, Rs.4.1 for C&W, Rs.2.8 billion for wheat flour subsidy, Rs.2.09 for the judiciary, Rs.4.2 billion for miscellaneous grant and an amount of Rs.2.1 billion has been allocated to the board of revenue, relief and rehabilitation.