No mini-budget in the offing, says minister

Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar has categorically dispelled the impression that the incumbent government has any plan to introduce a mini-budget.

Talking to a private news channel, the minister said sugarcane and other crops were damaged due to issues pertaining to climate change. “This was one of the major reasons behind recent food inflation.”

However, he said, the government has made comprehensive efforts to overcome the challenges.

The minister admitted that there was a need to review the policy on sugar.

“The government is well-aware of the problems being confronted by the people due to price hike, but it has taken tangible steps against hoarding and mafias,” he maintained.

Earlier on Wednesday, a private media outlet had reported that Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have discussed additional tax measures for the mini-budget amid questions over realism of the revenue potential due to lower-than-expected receipts against Rs735 billion budgetary measures.

As per the report, FBR authorities were resisting the IMF demand for a mini-budget and were looking for a steep cut of nearly Rs800 billion in its original target of Rs5.5 trillion.

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