COVID-19: MoF suspends preparations for next fiscal budget

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has suspended the budget preparations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The ministry has suspended for the time being all the activities with regard to budget preparation for the fiscal year 2020-21,” said a source privy to this development. 

The economic team had issued the budget call circular in January this year, following which the MoF had also gotten approved from the federal cabinet a three-year medium term budget strategy paper.

Sources said that the government had planned to present the next fiscal year budget in the last week of May or first week of June this year but due to the ongoing situation, issuance of budget ceilings to ministries or divisions have also been delayed. 

Under the medium term budget strategy paper, the economic team had proposed Rs700 billion to Rs900 billion for Public Sector Development Programme, around Rs300 billion for Ehsaas Programme, and Rs1 trillion for civil government & pensions.

In addition, they had also allocated around Rs3.3 trillion for interest payments and Rs1,250 to Rs1,750 billion for defence expenditure. 

Moreover, an allocation of around Rs1 trillion was proposed for grants, Rs270 billion for subsidies, Rs150 billion for support to merged districts of KP and Rs80 billion for disasters. 

As per the medium term guiding principles, the economic team had planned that the government would keep focus on PSDP, economic growth, job creation, IMF programme, inflation and price control, staying on course of stablization path and reduction of budget deficit as well as public debt. 

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