Govt to unveil Rs14.5tr budget today


ISLAMABAD: After one of the most tumultuous financial years of Pakistan’s history, the federal government is all set to unveil Rs14.5 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 today.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will table the budget in the National Assembly after getting approval from the federal cabinet.

According to Hum News, the fiscal deficit has been estimated7.7 per cent of the GDP, while a tax collection target of Rs9,200 billion has been set for the next financial year. 

Meanwhile, a revenue generation target of Rs2,800 billion has been estimated from non-tax sources.

The upcoming budget also carries a proposal to allocate a total of Rs1,300 billion in subsidies, out of which the biggest chunk of Rs976 billion will go to the power sector.

According to sources, Rs7,300 billion have been allocated for debt servicing and repayment, while Rs1,800 billion will go to the defence sector.

Rs430 billion will be allocated to the Benazir Income Support Programme.

Additionally, Rs2709 billion will go to the development sector. Out of this, Rs1,150 billion will stay with the centre. Sindh’s development budget is expected to increase by 40 per cent to Rs617 billion. Rs426 billion and Rs268 billion will be allocated to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa respectively as part of their interim budget proposal for the next four months.

The development budget of Balochistan is estimated to stand at Rs248 billion after an increase of 65 per cent than the previous year.

Overall, the volume of development budget for FY 2023-24 will be 4pc higher than the previous year. The volume of imports for the upcoming financial year has been estimated at $58.70 billion while that of exports at $30 billion.

The government employees are likely to receive a boost of 30 per cent in their ad hoc relief allowances as well as a 20 per cent hike in pensions.

It has also been suggested that the medical and conveyance allowance of government employees should be increased by 100 per cent.

All eyes are on the upcoming budget as the coalition government finds itself in a difficult situation struggling to satisfy the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure at least some of the $2.5 billion as part of a lending programme set to expire at the end of this month and providing some relief to the public in order to politically stabilize itself ahead of a national election scheduled for October this year.

 

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