Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to another blog. This article will discuss the topic in detail “Relief Measures in Budget 2023-24”. On Friday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar unveiled the much-anticipated budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, presenting a comprehensive plan to manage the country’s finances. The budget, with a total allocation of Rs14.46 trillion, garnered significant attention due to its noteworthy feature of “no new taxes.”
Minister Dar emphasized the government’s commitment to fiscal prudence, aiming for a cautious growth rate of 3.5%. This approach reflects a strategic focus on stability and sustainability, taking into account the prevailing economic conditions and challenges. The budget presentation marked a pivotal moment in the nation’s financial planning, setting the stage for the upcoming fiscal year’s expenditure and revenue targets.
The federal government, recognizing the significant challenges posed by the back-breaking inflation, has proactively taken measures to alleviate the burden on the nation. In the recently announced budget, a range of relief measures has been introduced to provide much-needed respite to the struggling economy and the citizens grappling with rising prices.
Relief Measures Taken By The Government
- The government has recently implemented several noteworthy changes to benefit various sectors of society. These modifications include an increase in the allocation for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) from Rs400 billion to Rs450 billion.
- To ensure targeted assistance, the government has introduced subsidies on essential food items such as wheat flour, ghee, pulses, and rice through the Utility Stores Corporation (USC).
- Recognizing the invaluable contributions of civil servants, the government has decided to raise their salaries by introducing an Ad-hoc Relief Allowance.
- Additionally, the rates of various allowances have been increased to address the changing needs of employees. This includes the daily and mileage allowance, additional charge current charge allowance, orderly allowance, and special conveyance allowance for individuals with disabilities.
- Another significant development is the increase in pension amounts, with the minimum pension raised to Rs12,000.
- To uplift the livelihoods of workers, the government has raised the minimum wage from Rs25,000 to Rs30,000 in the ICT Loan Write-off scheme, specifically benefiting widows.
- Moreover, the government has taken steps to prioritize the well-being of working journalists and artists. As part of these efforts, health insurance cards will be provided to them, ensuring access to necessary medical services and coverage for their health-related expenses.
- These measures collectively reflect the government’s commitment to improving the socio-economic conditions of various segments of society, fostering inclusivity, and ensuring a better quality of life for all citizens.
Prime Minister’s Initiatives
|Areas of interventions||Allocation in Rs billions|
|PM initiative for solar tube-wells||Rs30 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’s empowerment||Rs5 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|
Salaries of govt employees
The federal cabinet has recently approved a substantial increase in salaries for government employees, providing a much-needed boost of up to 35%.
- The recent amendments to the pension system have brought about significant changes. Firstly, the pension rate has been increased from 17.5% to Rs12,000, ensuring a more substantial income for retirees. Additionally, the EOBI (Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution) pension now stands at Rs10,000, providing greater financial security for retired employees.
- To address income disparities, the government has implemented a substantial increase of 35% in the salaries of employees falling under grades 1-16. Additionally, a commendable increase of 30% has been implemented for those in higher grades, beyond grade 17. This increase recognizes their contributions and aims to maintain equitable compensation across various job levels.
- Moreover, the minimum wage has been raised to Rs32,000, ensuring that workers receive a fair wage for their labor.
- In an effort to enhance employee benefits, medical and conveyance allowances have seen a significant increase of 100%.
- Furthermore, ad hoc allowances have been raised by 10%, providing additional financial support to employees.
- Recognizing the challenges faced by widows. The government has taken a compassionate step by ensuring that widows’ debts are paid up to Rs1 million.
- In support of the families of martyrs. The deposit limit in national savings accounts has been increased to Rs 7.5 million.
- Similarly, the limit for Behbud Savings Certificate has also been set at Rs7.5 million. It is allowing individuals to secure their savings and financial well-being.
- This program has a budget allocation of Rs25 billion and aims to provide subsidized daily-use items to those in need, uplifting their quality of life and reducing their financial burden.
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