In a first, MoF set to bring ‘mid-year budget review report’ before cabinet 

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance will present the country’s first-ever ‘mid-year budget review report’ during the upcoming meeting of the federal cabinet.

According to sources privy to this development, the PM on Thursday would chair the cabinet meeting to deliberate upon a 16-point agenda, which included the mid-year budget review report of the fiscal year 2019-20.

The parliament had, for the first time, made mandatory “mid-year reporting of the budget developments in Pakistan through enactment of the Public Finance Management Act, 2019,” in June last year.

The National Assembly, while passing the finance bill for FY20, had made applicable the Public Finance Management Act 2019, as per the requirement of article 79 of the constitution. This was done to strengthen the management of public finances and to improve the implementation of fiscal policies for better macroeconomic and budgetary management. 

Sources said in the upcoming meeting, the cabinet members would be briefed about government expenditures, revenue collection, development expenses, austerity measures and reforms under the IMF programme. 

The said mid-year report would be shared with parliament after approval from the cabinet. 

Besides discussing a summary by the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan, sources said the cabinet would also shed light on the education ministry’s proposals regarding ‘Pakistan National Education Plan 2020’. 

Other issues that would that would be discussed during the meeting include the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ proposal in favour of ‘Zaireen Management Policy’, health ministry’s summary regarding a notification for Pakistan Nursing Council’s member, Inter-Provincial Coordination Division’s summary for the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the Council of Common Interest, Human Rights Division’s summary for the establishment of National Commission on Child Rights, and Commerce Division’s summary regarding one-time permission for import of insecticides from India. 

Furthermore, sources said the Ministry for Maritime Affairs would brief the cabinet on issues related to Pakistan Steel Mills. Similarly, the PM’s finance adviser would also brief the forum about the regulatory duties on pulses. The power minister would explain issues regarding gas pricing and power bills while Dr Sania Nisthar would also give a presentation on the Ehsaas Programme. 

In addition, the cabinet would discuss the Petroleum Division’s summary to appoint the Pakistan Mineral Development Cooperation (PMDC) managing director and Revenue Division summary for proportionate adjustment of input tax by exploration and production companies operating as joint ventures. 

The cabinet would also consider the planning ministry’s summary regarding the vacant post of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ chief statistician, besides discussing the overseas ministry’s summary seeking approval of the federal government to grant fresh overseas employment promoter licenses as per the relevant law.

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