Friday, June 09, 2023

Budget 2023-24: Here are relief measures taken by govt

A shopkeeper uses a calculator while selling spices and grocery items along a shop in Karachi, Pakistan June 11, 2021. — Reuters
A shopkeeper uses a calculator while selling spices and grocery items along a shop in Karachi, Pakistan June 11, 2021. — Reuters 

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday presented the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 with a total outlay of more than Rs14 trillion as the country goes through severe economic and political crises. 

However, the federal government — which is hopeful that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would resume the stalled bailout programme — took some relief measures for the inflation-stricken nation as well. 

Here are the relief measures

  • Increase in BISP allocation from Rs400 billion to Rs450 billion
  • Targeted subsidy on wheat flour, ghee, pulses, rice through USC 
  • Increase in salaries of civil servants in the form of Ad-hoc Relief Allowance 
  • Increase in rates of following allowances
  1. Daily and mileage allowance 
  2. Additional charge current charge allowance 
  3. Orderly allowance 
  4. Special conveyance allowance for disabled
  • Increase in pension and increase in minimum pension to Rs12,000
  • Minimum wage increase from Rs25,000 to Rs30,000 in ICT Loan write-off scheme for widows 
  • Health insurance card for working journalists and artists 

Prime minister's initiatives — Planning Development and Special Initiatives (PSDP) 

Areas of interventions Allocation in Rs billions 
PM initiative for solar tubewellsRs30 billion
PM youth program for small loans Rs10 billion
Pakistan endowment fund for education 
Rs5 billion
PM initiative for IT startups and venture capital Rs5 billion
PM initiatives for women empowermentRs5 billion
PM laptop scheme Rs10 billion
PM green revolution Rs5 billion
PM youth skill development Rs5 billion
Other initiatives (sports and hepatitis C control program)  Rs5 billion
Total Rs80 billion

Salaries of govt employees

The federal cabinet increased the salaries of government employees up to 35%.

  • Pension — 17.5% to Rs12,000 
  • EOBI pension — Rs10,000
  • Increase in salaries for employees of grades 1-16 — 35%
  • Above 17 — 30% 
  • Minimum wage set to Rs32,000 
  • Increase in medical and conveyance allowances — 100%
  • Increase in ad hoc allowances — 10%
  • Debts of widows to be paid up to Rs1 million 
  • Deposit limit in national savings accounts for martyrs — Rs7.5 million 
  • Limit for Behbud Savings Certificate — Rs7.5 million
  • Targeted subsidy programme to provide daily-use items — Rs25 billion