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Introduction to Public Administration
Semester: Spring 2014
Graded Discussion Board No. 2
The main focuses of the 2014-15 Budget are overcoming the energy crisis, stabilization of the economy, developmental projects (construction of dams, purchase of locomotives, etc.), cutting down of non-development expenditures and enhancing productivity through new growth strategies.
Some Salient features of the Budget 2014-15 are following:
Ø Fiscal deficit has been contained to 5.8 percent.
Ø The allocation for defence has been proposed at Rs 700 billion and Benazir Income Support Program allocation increased to Rs 118 billion.
Ø For Diamer Bhasha Dam Rs10 billion had been allocated for the acquisition of land and Rs 205 billion allocated for investment in various power projects to overcome the energy crises on priority basis.
Ø A programme has been designed to provide housing credit to low cost housing units to enable the poor to have their own homes. The banks will provide loans up to one million rupees for the scheme and the government will guarantee forty percent of the portfolio amount.
Ø In the next five years 500 new locomotives will be purchased while arrangements are being made to obtain 1500 new rail cars to facilitate the passengers. Rs 63 billion have been allocated for higher education which is 10 percent higher than the previous year.
Ø Through the auction of 3G and 4G technologies 900,000 people will get employment opportunities.
Ø Pakistani rupee parity with the US dollar is around Rs 98 to 99 per US dollar as compared to Rs 111 to a dollar in December 2013 and Economy witnesses a growth rate of 4.14 percent surpassing the figures in last six years. On the other hand Inflation remained at 8.6 percent as compared to 12 percent during the previous government.
Ø Government introduces livestock insurance scheme for all farmers getting finance for up to ten cattle.
Ø For domestic electricity consumers, it is planned to collect adjustable advance tax at 7.5% on the monthly bill of above Rs 100,000.
Critically analyze the above given salient features of Budget 2014-15 and elaborate its two negative aspects. Explain your comments with proper arguments.
· Your discussion must be based on logical facts.
· Your answer should not exceed 200 words.
· Your answer should be relevant to the topic i.e. clear and concise.
· No theoretical definitions and explanations are required.
· Obnoxious or ignoble answer should be strictly avoided.
· Do not copy or exchange your answer with other students. Two identical/copied comments will be marked Zero (0) and may damage your grade in the course.
· Questions/queries related to the content of the GDB, which may be posted by the students on MDB or via e-mail, will not be replied till the due date of GDB is over.
· The GDB will open and close on above specified date and time. Please note that no grace day or extra time will be given for posting comments on GDB.
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THE government has just completed the formalities by giving the annual budget as the people see budget everyday through increasing prices and growing inflation while the new budget has further affected the commoner.
These views were expressed by experts at the Jang Economic Session on ‘Impact of national budget on household budget’, here on Tuesday. The speakers were Hussain Ahmed Sherazi, Afzal Khayal, Aima Mehmood, Muhammad Yaqub, and Azeem Bari while hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.
Hussain Ahmed Sherazi said 80 percent indirect taxes and 20 percent direct taxes were imposed in the budget while the new budget was also a conventional one and money printing or loan would be taken to meet the budget deficit. In both situations, inflation will increase affecting the household budget, he remarked. He said the poor got nothing from budget and household budget would cause the clash of institutions, law and order and terrorism.
Afzal Khayal said new budget was not an ideal one but slightly better in the existing economic situation. He said budget was business friendly while business community had also appreciated it. He said miseries of the people worsened with budget. He said the implementation of government policies was crucial than the good budget.
Aima Mehmood termed the budget disappointing. She said the budget was made on the instructions of the persons who had no interest with public. She said 50 percent below poverty line population was ignored in the budget. She said problems of the poor increased with the surge in indirect taxes on consumer items. She called for women welfare projects, provision of cheap and quality education, and end to outages.
Muhammad Yaqub said hope was high with budget that it would bring change in the commoners’ life and provide relief to them. However, the budget disappointed everyone, he said, adding that the government did nothing to settle the problems of 50 percent population living below poverty line. He said fixed income group people problems would worsen with the budget while 10 percent increase in pension and salaries was just a peanut against the growing inflation.
Azeem Bari said 10 percent raise in salaries was far below than the real inflation rate. He said tax on consumer goods was meant for tax on general public. He said public would face Rs5 to 10 increase in the price of every product which affect the household budget directly. He called for taxation on luxurious items.
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Saturday approved the Finance Bill for fiscal year 2014-15 with total outlay of Rs 4.3 trillion, accepting some amendments moved by the government and rejecting all ones from the opposition benches.
Following nine-day discussion, the 149-page Finance Bill was moved by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar that was passed by the House with majority in clause by clause reading. The passage of the Finance Bill has successfully brought to an end the budgetary process started on June 3 with the budget speech of the finance minister at the National Assembly.
The bill now will go to the President for assent who will sign it into law making it will be applicable from July 1 2014. The House echoed with desk thumping as the House passed the budget in presence of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who also witnessed the budget s passage.
The Senate had made 133 recommendations out of those the government accepted 57 and were incorporated in the federal budget full or partially. Once signed into law, the bill will increase monthly stipend from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 billion for those receiving income support and number of families for the Benazir Income Support programme will be increased from 4.1 million to 5.3 million.
The crop insurance will be increased to 25 acres and prices of fertilizers will be reduced by Rs 300 per bag. The bill will also help reduce GADC to Rs 100 on power zero on cement Rs 150 on general industry Rs 200 on captive power and zero on commercial sector.
The government will also impose uniformed income tax of 4 percent on first class air travel and reduce sales tax on solvent extractors from 17 to 16 percent. The government will withdraw the exemptions of Rs 103 billion under its endeavor for phased elimination of SROs aimed at favoring influential ones.
The Finance Bill also provides a special package of Rs 36 billion for all provinces out of that Balochsitan will get Rs 14 billion, Sindh Rs 8 billion, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Rs 4 billion, FATA Rs 4 billion, AJK Rs 3 billion and Gilgit Baltistan Rs 2 billion.
As part of the budgetary approval, the House has also approved demands for grants worth Rs 2.6 trillion besides charged expenditures. Following the passage of the budget, the finance minister felicitated the National Assembly Senate and the whole nation on approval of the budget saying the government was committed to take the country to its bright future as per vision of founder of the nation Quid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
He informed National Assembly that the country s foreign currency reserves had reached to US 14.2 billion. He said that due to its prudent policies the government had managed to cross 14 billion mark and in future it would continue taking steps for further improving foreign currency reserves.