ISLAMABAD: The government yesterday announced an ad-hoc relief of 10 per cent in the salaries and pensions of civil and military employees in the federal budget 2018-19.

Newly-inducted Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, in his budget speech, said the increase 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.

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

Ismail said under the income tax relief package for individuals, 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.

Ismail said keeping in view the difficulties of low-paid pensioners, the minimum pension had been increased to Rs10,000 from the present Rs6,000. He also announced 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.

The overtime allowance of staff drivers and dispatch riders had been increased from Rs40 to Rs80 per hour, he added.