Orange Line Is White Elephant Which Eats 9 Billion Annually

Punjab minister of finance Hashim Jawan Bakhat Tuesday said that country was passing through a critical period following the covid-19 pandemic and therefore the provincial government given the simplest budget within the current scenario by focusing towards the areas hit by the corona virus and protecting the economy and vulnerable groups.

The Punjab government didn’t compromise on the event portfolio despite witnessing reduction within the revenue while Public Private Partnership Authority was established for implementation of the PPP projects. The southern loop of the Lahore bypass are going to be completed under PPP project with Rs 10 billion amount within the financial year 2020-21 while the PPP projects got a five year tax holidays also .
Addressing the Post Budget news conference here at 90 Shahrah-e-Quaid-Azam along side Chairman Planning and Development Hamid Yaqoob Sheih, and Secretary Finance Abdullah Sumbal, he said the govt given Rs 56 billion tax relief package within the budget, besides given priority to construction sector to spice up 16 attached industries with it.

The minister announced that a replacement project Paradigm was introduced within the budget with the name Grow Punjab and Rs 106 billion package allocated to cope up with covid-19 under this head. The project will helpful in improving the health sector, besides controlling of the covid-19. the govt will review the expenditure on monthly basis thanks to covid-19 pandemic while all the recommendations would be considered the extra expenditures to regulate the covid-19 pandemic. He said the govt didn’t launch the new projects for the sake of creating the budget speech attracting rather to focus to finish last year announced 6 universities and 9 hospitals. therefore the government has made substantial increase in health and education budget.

Hashim Jawwan said that the govt also introduced small projects of the community development including the tree plantation, roads and canals linings et al. so as to make employment opportunities for lower segment of the society. He said the Punjab government likewise the federal also lowers down the revenue generation targets while the scope of the foreign funded and assisted projects was increased to satisfy the gap. Further, expanding the taxpayer base was focused within the budget.

On an issue , the minister said the govt allocated Rs 9 billion for the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) project, out of which Rs 4 billion allocated for subsidy and 4.5 billion for the payment of mark-up of the project loan. The minister stressed the OLMT a white elephant that government will need billion of rupees subsidy per annum .




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