No new tax in Rs25.32bn AJK budget
21 June 2007
Muzaffarabad: A Rs25.32 billion tax-free but deficit budget for Azad Kashmir was presented in the Legislative Assembly here on Thursday. Finance Minister Raja Nisar Ahmed Khan informed the house the 2007-08 budget proposed Rs17.52 billion for non-development expenditures and Rs7.8 billion, including a foreign component of Rs808 million, for development expenditures. The volume of next year’s annual development programme (ADP), he said, was 30 per cent more than current year’s allocation. The minister said income from state’s internal and external resources was estimated at Rs12.29 billion. It included Rs5.23 billion from local resources such as excise and taxation, forests and electricity, Rs2.272 billion from the AJK Council and Rs4.4 billion from the Centre as AJK’s share in the federal taxes. An income of Rs663 million was expected as water use charges of Mangla Dam, he said. The Rs5.23 billion gap between income and non-development expenditures was to be bridged by the federal government, the minister said. Giving sector-wise details of allocations for development, the minister said that Rs2.51 billion had been earmarked for transport and communication sector, Rs903 million for foreign-funded projects, Rs900 million for local government and rural development programme, Rs640 million for physical planning and housing, Rs600 million for electricity and Rs520 million for hydropower generation, Rs532 million for education, Rs337 million for health services, Rs250 million for forests, Rs168 million for information technology, Rs100 million for sports, Rs70 million for tourism-wildlife and fisheries, Rs55 million for industries, Rs40 million each for agriculture and animal husbandry, Rs35 million for AK Mineral and Industrial Development Corporation- Small Industries Corporation, Rs30 million for water and irrigation, Rs25 million each for social welfare and planning and development and Rs20 million for environment. The opposition members boycotted the budget speech.