Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that the next financial year will be the year of economic growth while special development packages will be given to the backward districts to balance the development process in the province. The minister said this on Monday while chairing a meeting at the Finance Department regarding the preparation of the budget for the next financial year. Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said that the investment in local bodies, roads, public health and irrigation system will be made to ensure economic growth. Provision of infrastructure, technical and vocational training for the promotion of industrialisation will be ensured, he added. He said that modern research and expansion in the agricultural sector will be part of the top priorities of the next budget. Significant increase in the development budget will be ensured to achieve economic growth. He instructed the preparation of a joint database to increase the personal resources of the province, uniformity in tax rates and implementation of a fully automated system for revenue collection. The minister informed the meeting that in view of the current situation of Covid-19, the Punjab government is reviewing the tax relief given in the current financial year for revival of business in the next financial year. However, the governments will emphasise on expanding the tax net to increase resources. Further, the tax collected from the agricultural sector will be used for the development of the sector. He said the Punjab government will ensure the provision of special funds for industrial development. The government is also investing in a scheme to provide affordable housing to low-income citizens. Universal health insurance and school upgrades in the education and health sectors have been approved, he added. Further, the salaries and pensions will be increased on a federal basis. The savings made in terms of austerity and cost control will lead to an increase in development funds. The development budget for the next financial year will be the largest development budget of the present government so far, he claimed.