Minimum pension increased from Rs6,000 to Rs10,000 in budget

ISLAMABAD (APP): A increase of 10 per cent has been announced in the salaries of government employees, while minimum pension has been increased from Rs6,000 to Rs10,000 in the federal budget announced for fiscal year 2018-19 a day earlier.

In his budget speech the newly-inducted finance minister, Miftah Ismail, said the minimum pension has been increased to Rs10,000 from the present Rs6,000 keeping in view the difficulties faced by low-paid pensioners.

He also announced an increase in minimum pension to Rs15,000 for the pensioners over the age of 75, and raise in family pension from Rs4,500 to Rs7,500.

Since the salaries of government employees would also be increased, the finance minister said it would be apart from the major relief the salaried class would get due to drastic slash in the income tax rates announced earlier by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Ismail said the salaried persons mostly belong to the middle class and would be the major beneficiary of the relief measures that would have a financial impact of Rs69 billion.

Under the income tax relief package for individuals, Ismail said there would be no tax on income of up to Rs1.2 million annually, 5 per cent on income exceeding Rs1.2 to Rs2.4 million, Rs60,000 plus 10 per cent on income from Rs2.4 to Rs4.8 million, Rs180,000 plus 15 per cent on income exceeding Rs4.8 million.

Together with the tax cut, the overall relief for the salaried class would be much higher than the 10 per cent adhoc relief announced in the federal budget.

The minister said Rs5 billion had been allocated for Senior Officers Performance Allowance, details of which would be announced later, while Rs12 billion were earmarked for advances for the purchase and construction of houses, vehicles etc for government officials.

The house rent ceiling had been increased by 50 per cent, besides an increase of 50 per cent in the house rent allowance, he added. The overtime allowance of staff drivers and dispatch riders had been increased from Rs40 to Rs80 per hour, he added.