- ‘Budget aims to stabilise economy, manage external deficit by decreasing imports, reduce fiscal deficit through revenue mobilisation and expenditure control’
ISLAMABAD: Amid a recent reshuffle in the finance team and economic uncertainty, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to present the budget for the financial year 2019-20 on June 11.
This was announced by Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in a press conference after a meeting of the federal cabinet.
She said PM’s Adviser on Finance Hafeez Shaikh and his team presented the finance bill –closely linked to PTI’s vision— in the meeting.
As per the budget plan elaborated by Awan, the government desires to steer the economy on to the path of stabilisation, which is the foremost priority. She, however, said that detailed briefing will be given by Shaikh himself.
“Our focus will be the stabilisation of the economy, managing external deficit by decreasing imports, reduction of fiscal deficit through revenue mobilisation and expenditure control, setting the path for public debt reduction,” she said.
She said due to the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, the provincial governments played a central role in the development of the budget. Under the NFC Award, the Centre is bound to give provinces a chunk of its revenue.
The government also took the provinces on board over the budget, said Awan.
She said that the way forward devised and put into action by the government’s economic team has stabilised the value of the rupee and that uncertainty and “rumour factories” which had brought instability to the economy have been shut down.
“Positive indicators have begun to emerge. The stock exchange has contributed and behaved positively and ultimately is making new records.” It may be mentioned here after weeks of bloodbath, the PSX that gained over 2,000 points last week has started shedding again: it lost 748 points on Tuesday.
“The government’s purpose in this budget is to create a platform for growth because job opportunities are linked to growth and only when growth increases will job opportunities grow,” she said, adding the government would keep the condition of poorer segments of the society in mind while laying down new budget.
She was the government would ensure that the common man won’t be adversely affected in the upcoming budget.
However, according to Profit, the government is planning to drop an inflation bomb on public, as taxes are expected to be increased in the upcoming budget. According to details, new taxes of Rs40 billion have been proposed in the next budget.
In a presser on Saturday, PM’s Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that the government had set the revenue collection target of Rs5.5 trillion for the next financial year.