Economy Will Recover Next Financial Year: Punjab Finance Minister

Punjab Finance Minister, Makhdoom Hashim Javan Bakht, says the financial year (FY) 2021-22 will be the year of economic rehabilitation.

Chairing a pre-budget consultative meeting with leading economists under the Sub-National Governance Program in Lahore on Wednesday, he said that Universal Health Coverage Program would ensure a healthy society, and the special development package for the industrial sector would ensure economic recovery.

The provincial minister said that to increase agricultural production, the provision of services in the relevant sectors would be improved. The development of agro-related industries would also be an important part of the future development agenda, and providing social security would also be the top priority of the Punjab government in the next budget.

Bakht said that without industrial development, economic recovery was impossible. “Sustainable steps are being taken for the development of the industrial sector at all stages from investor protection to establishment of industrial zones, and the preparation of a suitable labour force in consultation with stakeholders,” he mentioned.

These 360-degree assessments of different sectors with experts, academia, citizens, and those, directly and indirectly, involved in different value chains will lead to a holistic and inclusive budget-making process.

The session was attended by Chairman Planning and Development, Abdullah Sumbal, Secretary Finance, Iftikhar Sahoo, Chief Executive Officer Urban Unit, Dr. Omar, Economist Dr. Ghulam Nabi, Dr. Ali Cheema, Maroof Syed, Javed Iqbal, Nazish Afraz, and PFM experts of Sub-National Governance Program.

Participants discussed various opportunities that could be used by the government of Punjab to support businesses and the service industry, including improving agriculture extension services, removing bottlenecks for agricultural productivity, developing futuristic skills, and looking at pandemic recovery plans.

The minister told the meeting that the present government was also ensuring necessary amendments in the laws to facilitate industry and trade and to promote economic activities in the province, and the Cabinet was playing its full role in this regard.