staffLAHORE    -    Finance minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has said that the government was preparing ‘Bahimmat Social Protection’ scheme for senior citizens of age 65 and above. Speaking at a pre-budget consultation and launching of book “Growth & Inequality in Pakistan” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at a local hotel on Tuesday, he said social protection programs should be integral part of medium and long term economic frameworks.  “We will take care of the marginalized segment of the society with allocation of more resources for social protection in the coming budget”, Hashim Jawan Bakht said, adding the government was looking for out of the box solutions, such as public-private partnership to help improve the governance and resource mobilization. He said there were some structural changes on the expenditure side. He said expenditures on pensions, which had swelled significantly was a big challenge. In last seven years, he said, around Rs2048 billion of PSDP were spent in the whole Punjab. He said Rs1048 billion were spent on Lahore and Rs1000 billion on rest of the Punjab. Digitization of the economy was the way forward for growth and development, he remarked. Dr Hafiz A Pasha, renowned economist and former finance minister, stressed the need of equal tax treatment for all citizens with no exemption for special groups including judges and army officials.