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Examining the social aspect of this year’s budget

The 2021-22 budget has been hailed as a growth budget which aims to put the country on a trajectory for sustainable growth. The government has expressed that one of their main objectives is to support vulnerable segments of society.
Published 13 Jun, 2021 06:00pm
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The 2021-22 budget has been hailed as a growth budget which aims to put the country on a trajectory for sustainable growth. The government has expressed that one of their main objectives is to support vulnerable segments of society.

Let us look at some of the key changes to social protection programs.

Bait-Ul-Mal

Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal was set up in 1991 as an autonomous body to provide support to the most marginalized segments of society. The body aims to help the destitute, widows, orphans, invalid, infirm & other needy persons, as per Bait-ul-Mal Board’s eligibly criteria.

The 2021-22 budget has decreased funds from PKR 6.1b in the previous budget to PKR 4.2b (-31%) for this fiscal year. This decrease in funding will impact the organization’s ability to help those in need.

Artist Welfare Fund

The Artist Welfare Fund was established in 2011 with an aim to help artists and writers who were experiencing financial trouble. It would provide funds to those artists who are inactive due to old age, health, or otherwise handicapped condition.

In this year’s budget the government has decreased funds from PKR 3.0b to PKR 100m. A decrease of 96% will render the fund nonfunctional. This comes at a time when artists face a downturn due to the pandemic and other cyclical factors. This is a time when they are in the most need of assistance.

Association for the Welfare of Retired Persons

This association was established in 1989 with the aim of helping retired civilian employees of the federal government. The association was not given any funds in the previous budget but has been allocated PKR 10m this year.

Anti-Rape Fund

The present government has been keen on harsher punishment for rapist and offering more support for the victims. Having passed a law for stricter action for rapists in 2020, the government has further established a fund for the support of rape survivors. The group has received a budget is of PKR 100m this year; the fund will be managed by the ministry of human rights.

National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination Division

This ministry was established in 2012 with the aim of improving health of the general population and this year is especially a stakeholder in the coordinated effort towards fighting the pandemic.

The government has increased funding for this ministry from PKR 14.5b to PKR21.7b (+49.6%) which is in-line with expectations.

Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division

This division is charged with managing the commonly mentioned Ehsaas Program, which is an initiative of the PTI government whose aim is to uplift the marginalized. It is an umbrella initiative which further comprises of 134 policies and programs.

The government has increased funding for the program from PKR 135M to PKR 599m (+343%). The government has provided this exceptional increase because they aim to fulfil their promise of alleviating poverty through this initiative.

Total Social Protection Fund

The PTI government has increased total allocation for social protection to PKR 255.2b from PKR 230.9b(+10.5%) in the previous budget. This is in-line with the Medium-Term Budgetary Statement 2020-2023. Funding for special initiatives led by the Prime Minister like Kamyab Jawan, Sehat Sahulat Card, Naya-Pakistan Housing Scheme, House Financing Mark-up, Collateral free lending to SMEs etc. have also been protected.

annual budget

Budget 2021 22

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