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Pakistan Budget 2004-05

NHA gets major chunk for dualisation of N5, M1 and Lowari Tunnel

ISLAMABAD: The completion of country's road communication network gets top priority of the government during the next financial year and a major chunk of funds allocated for Transport and Communication sector goes to the National Highway
Authority NHA.

The PSDP envisages an allocation of Rs 35052.17 million for the sector during 2004-05 as against a revised expenditure of Rs 34646.55 million during 2003-04.

The allocation includes Rs.17932.17 million for the Budgetary Programme and Rs.17120.00 million for the Budgetary Corporations Programme (NHA).

The priority areas are dualization of National Highway (N-5) on different Sections, Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-l), Mekran Coastal Road, Karachi Northern Bypass, Lyari Expressway, Islamabad-Muzaffarabad Road (N-17), Mansehra Naran-Jalkhad Road, Dera Allahyar-Nutal Sibi Section (N-65), Ratodero / Shahdadkot-Khuzdar Road, Qilla Saifullah-Loralai-Bewata Section (N- 70) & KKH (N-35) Bridge on River Jhelum at Azad Pattan.

Work on Lowari Tunnel project will be initiated besides completion of remaining sections of Gwadar Ratodero Road (Khuzdar-Khori, Ratodero-Quba Saeed Khan & Gwadar- Turbat) and remaining portion of Indus Highway (N-55) (Sehwan-Dadu, Dadu-Larkana, Rajanpur D.G.Khan & Malana Junction-Sarai Gambila Sections).

Work will be initiated on realignment of Jacobabad – Dera Allah Yar section of National Highway N-65, improvement of N-65 from Jacobabad Bypass to Shikarpur, Quetta-Kalat-Chaman road, Quetta Western bypass, two interchanges on motorway M-2 at Khanqah Doghran & Sial Mor and the National Highway improvement programme co-financed by World Bank.

An allocation of Rs.125.00 million has been made for 25 new un-approved projects for smooth and safe flow of vehicular traffic on national highways.

An allocation of Rs.9280.60 million has been made for continuation of work on Track Rehabilitation of Pakistan Railways Network, procurement of 69 Diesel Electric locos, procurement and manufacture of 175 Passenger Coaches, procurement of 1300 Bogey High Capacity Wagons and rehabilitation of 450 passenger coaches
and other on-going projects.

Work on installation of air-brakes to 574 bogey wagons and recommissioning of 55 stabled DE locos will be undertaken.

An allocation of Rs.6227.00 million has been made to expedite work on the Gwadar Deep Sea Port Project in Balochistan. Of this Rs.5215 million are for the Sea Port, expected to be completed during the 2004-05 while an additional amount of Rs.1000.00 million has been allocated for deepening of the channel and installation of gantry cranes at Gwadar Port to enable it to handle bigger ships for transshipment. Remaining work on ice cold storage and desalination plant on
the Gwadar Fish Harbour-cum mini port will be completed to make it fully functional.

An allocation of Rs.18 million has been made for NTRC for research programme and Pakistan Transport Plan Study in collaboration with JICA.

An allocation of Rs.891.35 million has been made to the Special Communication Organization (SCO) for GSM project for AJ&K and the Northern Areas, International Gateway Exchange & Earth Station for AJ&K and the Northern. Areas, Rural Digital Communication Uplift Project for AJ&K (Phase-II), provision of Optic Fibre Cable in Northern Areas (Mansehra-Gilgit), provision of 15,000 Local Telephone Outside Plant (OSP) in major Cities and Town of Northern Areas, Laying of Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) along with Transmission System between Gilgit and Skardu and Expansion 7
Improvement of Telecommunication Facilities in Northern Areas (Phase-II).

An allocation of Rs. 99.00 million has been made for upgradation of National Frequency Management and Monitoring System project and will be completed during 2005-06.

An allocation of Rs.325.00 million has been made to National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) for Establishment of Optical Fibre based Transmission Link for establishing Coastal Communication Link, Hosting of GoP Portal and Government websites and De-Regulation Facilitation Unit Project of Ministry of Information Technology.

An allocation of Rs.300.00 million has been made for Up-gradation and Expansion of Existing NLC Communication Network.

An allocation of Rs 40.OO million has been made to complete the remaining work on the World Bank financed project - Trade and Transport Facilitation Project for establishment of multi-modal transport system and redrafting of laws for streamlining procedures for ports and custom clearance and freight forwarding.

The SUPARCO received an allocation of Rs.382.00 million for payment of the next installments of the lease fee and operational cost of PAKSAT-I project to M/s Hughes Global System and to undertake tow feasibility studies for new projects namely PAKSAT-IR Feasibility and System Definition Study (FSDS) and Earth Observation Satellite System (EOSS) Feasibility and System definition Study (FSDS).

The Pakistan Meteorological Department will be allocated Rs.19.224 million to complete Special Computerized weather analysis centre, hostel and accommodation at the National Agrometeorological Centre.

Rs.350 million have been allocated for procurement of container scanner equipment for installation at Airports.


Rs.8.011 bln earmarked for physical planning, housing sector

ISLAMABAD: The government has earmarked Rs.8.011 billion for physical planning and housing sector in PSDP 2004-05, showing a 36 per cent increase than the last year.

According to Annual Development Plan (ADP), Rs. 2.918 billion has been allocated for water supply and sewerage while for urban roads and development Rs. 1.56 billion has been earmarked.

Similarly, the government has allocated Rs. 1.689 billion for offices and buildings, Rs. 501 million for government servants housing schemes and Rs.1.343 billion for various other schemes.

The sectoral size of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in 2003-04 was Rs. 9.911 billion out of which Rs. 6.2 billion or 62 per cent was for Federal projects and Rs. 3.711 billion or 38% for the provincial projects.

The major sectoral issues include severe housing shortage, low water supply and sanitation coverage, and haphazard growth of cities and towns.

The government will continue to facilitate private sector for the construction of houses and flats by providing trunk infrastructure and ensuring adequate credit.

The programmes including water supply and sanitation services, government offices and buildings, government servants housing, development of Federal Capital Islamabad and regularization and improvement of Katchi Abadis and slums are being funded through PSDP 2004-05.


Special areas get Rs. 11.245 billion in PSDP 2004-05

ISLAMABAD: Special areas including KANA and SAFRON Division have been allocated an amount of Rs. 11.245 billion, with Rs. 906.88 million of foreign aid component, in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2004-05, to bring these areas at par with rest of the country.

The PSDP allocations for special areas included Rs. 4463 million for Azad Kashmir, Rs. 2770.9 million for Northern Areas, Rs. 4000.194 million for FATA (including Special Programme and two Dams in Waziristan) and Rs. 11.178 million for improvement of Management Plan of Khunjrab National Park, Gilgit.

This allocation is about 20 percent over and above than the corresponding year's allocation of Rs 9355.54 million.

However, the estimated utilization of Rs 10.586 billion upto June 2004 was higher than the allocations due to provision of additional allocations of Rs 1091 million for FATA and Rs 140
million for AJK.


Industries division gets Rs 392.43 million in PSDP 2004-05

ISLAMABAD: The government has allocated an amount of Rs 392.432 million including Rs 71.092 million of foreign aid component in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2004-05 for the new and on-going projects under the Industries and Production Division.

The PSDP allocations for the new projects included Rs 180 million for Upgradation of Plastic Technology Center, Karachi; Rs 115 million for Modernization and Upgradation of Pakistan Industrial Technical Assistance Center (PITAC), Lahore and Rs 5 million for Upgradation of Automotive Testing and Training Center Limited, Karachi.

Under the ongoing projects the PSDP allocations included Rs 92.432 million for Balancing and Modernization of Workshop Facilities at PITAC, Lahore.

All these projects are to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 1532.1 million including Rs 1432.7 of foreign aid, with Rs 183.3 million utilized upto June 2004 in expenditures and Rs 1348.8 million carried as throwforward.


CBR set Rs.580 billion revenue target for year 2004-05

ISLAMABAD: Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has set Rs.580 billion revenue target for year 2004-05 while it has achieved Rs.510 billion revenue target of year 2004-05.

CBR has set Rs.174.362 billion 2004-05 target for tax on income while previous year it has collected Rs.154.638 billion tax on income. Rs.181.900 billion target for year 2004-05 for the direct taxes.

CBR set Rs.103.200 billion for the custom and Rs.249.200 billion for the sales tax while federal excise duty target is Rs.398.100 billion for the next fiscal year.

Tax revenue other than CBR target for year 2004-05 is Rs.74806 million which includes contribution under companies profits (Rs.4000 million), foreign travel tax (Rs.4216 million), petroleum development levy (Rs.47506 million), surcharge on natural gas (Rs.15023 million), arrears surcharge (Rs.2777 million) and Airport tax (Rs 1284 million).

Non tax revenue collected during year 2003-04 was 796.323 billion while Rs.760.983 billion target was set year 2004-05.

The gross receipt of railway is set for Rs.23.679 billion while working expenses target is Rs.23.679 billion. Pakistan post office achieved 282 million profits while the target set for for year 2004-05 Rs.260 million.

The government collected Rs.67283 million interest from the provinces while Rs.54047 million is the interest target for year 2004-05.

From general administration Rs.1651 million revenu was collected during 2003-04 while Rs.1952 million set for year 2004-05. Surplus profit of the state bank of Pakistan is set for Rs.1000 million for year 2004-05 while previous year no profit
tarbget was set.

Revenue collected through Defence Services during year 2003-04 was Rs.42936 million while target is set for the next year is Rs.11616 million.

Recoveries of loans and advances during year 2003-04 was Rs.31724 million while the target is set for the recoveries is Rs.28486 million.

The revenue collected through prize bonds, federal development bonds (Bank), federal investment bonds (non bank), government bonds, Pakistan investment bonds (bank), Pakistan investment bonds (non-bank) was Rs.194292 million while the target was set for the year 2004-05 is 213.853 billion.

Through floating debt including market treasury bills, treasury bills through auction, other bills, ways and means advances, cash credit accumulation was collected during year 2003-04 was Rs.940.873 billion.


Agri-Package will stimulate the agriculture sector: Liaquat Jatoi

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Liaquat Ali Jatoi has hailed the agriculture package, announced by President Pervez Musharraf and stated the comprehensive and beneficial package would go a long way in rejuvenating the agriculture sector of Pakistan.

In a statement on the package on Saturday, he said that the package will not only provide relief to the growers but will also boost the agriculture production. Jatoi said the President General Pervez Musharraf has fulfilled the demands of the farmers and gave an attractive incentive package in order to enhance the production of all the crops particularly the exportable.

Apart from other incentives, only the reduction in the interest rate of Zarai loan will benefit a fairly large number of agriculturists. It will give confidence to many farmers who had been so far reluctant to secure loans for tractors and tubewells installed. The incentive on the import of tractors, would hopefully lead to more land being brought under cultivation and to a boost in the production. He said that increase in the agri credit to 100 billion, reduction in the prices of DAP, lining of water courses, relief to small loan defaulters, manufacturing of tractors and other measures to reduce the cost of number of other inputs would definitely benefit the growers and also increase in the production of agriculture products.

He said that the farming community should take advantage from the incentive package and also adopt advanced techniques to capture the export markets of the world. He said that the country should grow more to become self sufficient in the staple foods and to earn more by exporting it.



Rs 963 allocated for Defence Division under 2004-05 PSD

ISLAMABAD: Under the Public Sector Development Programme 2004-05 Rs 963 million have been allocated for the 12 on-going and 4 new projects of the Defence Division.

The PSDP allocations include Rs 1.99 million for award of merit scholarship to students of FGEIs in Cantt and Garrison in the on-going schemes sector.

The other ongoing projects include, Islamabad Institute of Space Technology Phase-II Rs 29 million, National Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System, Karachi Rs 55.70 million, Establishment of FG Degree College for Boys at multan Rs 19.66 million, and Provision of Physical Facilities in FG Girls Degree College Kharian Cantt. Rs 10.06 million.

Besides, Expansion of 5 FG Primary School at Peshawar, Rawalpindi, PMA Kakool, Karachi and Quetta Rs 14.91 million, Establishment of Special Computerized Weather Analysis Centre, Hotel and Residencies at National Agro Met Centre Islamabad rs 19.22 million, PAKSAT-I (Phase-I) Rs 312.50 million, PAKSAT-IR Feasibility and System Definition Study Rs 4.50 million, Establishment of R & D Division at Met Headquarters Islamabad Rs 19.95 million, Huma Resource Development for NSDP (Phase-I) Rs 80.20 million and Establishment of a National Centre for Drought/Environment Monitoring and Early Warning at Islamabad rs 60 million.

In the new projects sector for Earth Observation Satellite System (Feasibility and System Definition Study) Rs 65 million, Establishment of FG Liaqat Ali Degree College for Boys, Rawalpindi Rs 10 million, Centre for Excellence for Advanced Engineering Research , Islamabad Rs 175 million and Training in Advanced Engineering and Technologies Rs 85 million.

Rs 925 mln allocated for the Women Development projects

ISLAMABAD: An amount of Rs 925 million have been allocated for the Women Development Programme in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2004-05.

According to PSDP issued by the government, for the normal women development programme, an amount of Rs 140 million have been allocated, where as about Rs 300 million for Tawana Pakistan Project, Rs 385 million and Rs 100 million for Gender Reform Action Plan and National funds for Advancement of Rural Women respectively.

For Tawana Pakistan Programme, an amount of Rs 200 million has been recommended in the PSDP which has been enhanced to Rs 400 million by the APCC to achieve its objectives and also complete the programme in time. During this year, it is planned to cover all the 530,000 students in 29 districts of the country. Feeding and administration of micronutrients and albendazole would be carried out in 5300 girls primary school.

For the social welfare sector programme, major emphasis during the next financial year will continue to be on the completion of ongoing projects. Some important initiatives in the PSDP 2004-05 include the development of a park for disabled in Islamabad, National Training Centre for Special Persons at Islamabad, National Library and Resource Centre in Islamabad and construction of Special Education Centre at Gilgit, Okara, Kohat and Hyderabad. All these projects have been funded promptly and it is expected that these schemes will be completed by June 2005.

An allocation of Rs 335.512 million has been allocated for the promotion of special education and social welfare sector.

Higher education sector gets 100 % increase in PSDP 2004-05

The government has doubled the allocation for higher education sector in PSDP 2004-05, earmarking Rs. 9.104 billion against Rs. 4.477 billion last year.

The allocation includes Rs. 5.221 billion for ongoing and Rs. 3.883 billion for new projects.

According to Annual Development Plan (ADP) 2004-05, the main emphasis would be laid on human resource development and faculty development by initiating masters, M.Phil, PhD and post- doctoral programmes at indigenous and international level.

The scholarship programs are being developed for students to attain Ph.D degrees both within, as well as outside the country.

An innovative programme is the hiring of expatriate Pakistanis serving as faculty members and researchers at premier teaching and research institutions of the world.

The ongoing scholarship schemes would be continued and new scholarship schemes will also be initiated to train student in key areas.

The other areas of focus regarding infrastructure include physical infrastructure, electronic access highway, digital library programme, curriculum and distance education mechanism.

The universities will be encouraged to send their students on internship to industry and public/private sector organization to gain practical experience.

The universities will also be encouraged for entrepreneurship, which includes support for the teaching of entrepreneurship related skills at universities, setup of subsidized research and development facilities and support for the setup of a venture capital fund dedicated to promoting relevant projects showing great promise.

The universities will also be assisted in identifying areas requiring reform, identifying best practices, and suggesting mechanisms for improvement.

The central resource facility would be provided to all university faculties to assist them with the development of research projects, negotiate research contracts and enhance the ability of the faculty to attract research and development grants.

An amount of Rs 4.477 billion was allocated to higher education during 2003-04.

In the mid-year review of PSDP 2003-04, this allocation was further increased by Rs 490.88 million making higher education allocation to about Rs. 5 billion.

Rs.202 biln earmarked for poverty reduction, good governance, creating jobs

ISLAMABAD: Government has earmarked Rs. 202 billion for development projects in the new budget aiming at reducing poverty, ensuring good governance, generating employment and raising the quality of social services.

Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) which includes Federal Rs. 148 billion and Rs. 54 billion for the provinces also carries a foreign aid component of Rs 35 billion.

The PSDP 2004-05 has been formulated within the framework of the basic policy agenda of the government, which includes reducing poverty, ensuring good governance, generating employment and raising the quality of social services.

Towards this end, the programme aims at laying a firm basis for enhanced future growth through investments in infrastructure and human resources.

To avoid a thin distribution of the resources, and consequent time and cost overruns, priority in the allocation of resources has been given to those projects scheduled for early completion Commitments for major projects.

These projects includes Chashma nuclear power plant, raising of Mangla dam, lining of water courses, important communication projects including Gwadar Port and Gwadar area development, have been catered to in addition to the important social sectors.

Further, the government would consider guarantees in appropriate case for corporations such as WAPDA and the NHA to arrange additional resources outside the budgeted programme to complete projects on schedule.

The federally funded provincial projects have also been funded for completion in the light of priorities assigned to them.

To accelerate agriculture growth and to meet its water requirements, not only has the allocation for the water sector been substantially increased, major investment is programmed for the improvement of water courses to conserve scarce water and put it to productive use.

Likewise, adequate allocations have been provided to road and power sector projects to meet the transport and energy requirements of trade & industry.

Social sectors such as education, higher education, health and population welfare have been given enhanced funding to strengthen the economy's knowledge base and to produce qualified manpower required for higher growth in subsequent years.

The IT and Science and Technology sectors have also received increased allocations to give a spur to research and development and to employ the uneducated unemployed.

The size of the federal PSDP 2004-05 has grown by 31% over the previous year which in most part is devoted to physical and social infrastructure to support higher growth and retain the focus on poverty reduction.


Pakistan may CPI inflation up 0.78 pct mth/mth

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's consumer price index (CPI) was up 7.13 percent in May over the same month last year on the back of higher food and international fuel oil prices.

The Federal Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday CPI was up 0.78 percent over last month and rose 4.22 percent during the 11 months from July to May, compared with 3.21 percent increase from July to May 2002/03.

Pakistan's financial year runs from July to June. The sharpest price increases in May were for food and beverages, up 10.20 percent over the same month last year, while transport was up 8.06 percent.

Using 2000/01 as the base, the index stood at 114.78 in May against 113.89 in April.

May April
Consumer price index 114.78 113.89
Month-on-month change (pct) 0.78 0.96
Year-on-year change (pct) 7.13 5.99


Federal Budget 2004-05 presented in the national assembly

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister, Shaukat Aziz has presented the new financial year federal budget 2004-05 in the national assembly and the budget speech of the finance minister is in progress.

According to the finance department, total outlay of the budget is over 9 trillion rupees out of which Rs.202 billion for development expenditures and Rs.700 billion for non-development expenditures have been allocated.

The national assembly after completing its discussions on new financial year budget 2004-05 is expected to approve it on June 28.

For seven days fixed for discussions on the budget, national assembly in its morning and evening sessions would continue to meet and discuss the budget threadbare. Besides, discussions on the budget would also be held during private members day.


Federal Budget to be presented in cabinet today

ISLAMABAD: The federal budget will be presented in the national assembly this evening at 5.30 P.M

Federal Minister, Shaukat Aziz presented the budget this morning in the cabinet, which was under discussion till last report came in. Immediately after approval of the cabinet, the budget will be laid before the national assembly.

According to finance department, the total outlay of the budget would be Rs.902 billion out of which Rs.202 billion for development expenditures and Rs.700 billion for non-development expenditures have been allocated. Non-development Rs.700 billion expenditures include civil administration expense, payment of federal loans, assistance programme for different provinces and subsidies for different organizations.


Cultivators based outfits criticize relief package

ISLAMABAD: Organizations representing cultivators have termed the relief package of Rs.66 billion as announced by the president for agriculture insufficient and demanded further enhancement in the package.

In Lahore, a meeting of Kisan Board Pakistan, Water Council, Chamber of Agriculture, Punjab, Agriculture Board, FAP and other representative organizations was held to review the relief package of Rs.66 billion, which was announced by President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad Kisan Convention. The meeting severely criticized the relief package.

Kisan Board’s president, Ishaque Khakwani calling the package a mere desk work told that the country needs Rs210 billion for agriculture to resolve the problems of cultivators.

Representative of Agriculture Board, Chaudhry Mohammad Amin Chatta demanded reduction in the prices of diesel and power to take some burden off the cultivators.

Hamid Malhi of Water Council was of the view that instead of spending Rs.66 billion on cementing the canals and ravines, construction of a big dam alone could have solved the problem of water in the country.

Faruque Bajwah of FAP appreciating reduction of interest rate from 14 percent to 9 percent urged upon the need for bringing agriculture nearer to industry where the prevalent interest rate ranges 4-5 percent.

Ibrahim Mughal, General Secretary of Kisan Board told that the real cultivators based organizations were not at all invited in Kisan Convention and this explains the reason for whatever decisions taken over there being incorrect.


Loans obtained for budget financing

ISLAMABAD: The government has obtained loans worth Rs.54 billion during the past ten months for financing budget as against the target of Rs.15 billion fixed for the past financial year, while the ministry of finance fears that further monetary expansion might result in higher inflation.

In the report, it is pointed out that the monetary expansion during current financial year would be around 15 percent reflecting a breach of target for the second consecutive years, which would result in pushing inflation upwards.

The report further said that the government for making before schedule payment of $1.17 billion to Asian Development Bank resorted to borrowings from banks.

According to the report, investments in national savings also declined in the wake of heavy borrowings from banks.

Net foreign assets in the banking system this year stood at Rs.50.40 billion only as against Rs.257 billion in last year..
 

Courtesy : The News International

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