MUZAFFARABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is set to present a Rs85 billion, a tax-free budget for the fiscal year 2017-18.
This would see an increase in 15 per cent from the Rs73.5 billion budget for 2016-17.
Finance Minister Dr Najeeb Naqi is expected to present the budget in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday (today).
The budget contains a whopping Rs21 billion for development, up from the Rs12 billion set aside in the budget for 2016-17, an increase of almost Rs10 billion. This would ensure that development occupies a 24.7 per cent slice of the funds’ pie, up from 16 per cent in the previous budget.
Moreover, the PML-N government has claimed that the budget for the incoming fiscal year would be pro-poor and people-friendly.
Government and retired employees can look forward to an expected 10 per cent increase in their salaries.
In the last budget, the government had earmarked a massive Rs61.5 billion of the budget for non-development expenditures.
However, the opposition parties in the AJK Legislative Assembly including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other three parties have decided to boycott the budget session.
“The government is not taking opposition parties seriously, forcing us to boycott the budget session,” Opposition leader Chaudhry Muhammad Yaseen said, adding, “Democracy is the name of patience while as PML-N’s AJK chapter is following an authoritarian line of action to push the opposition parties to the wall, which is unacceptable.”