Azhar presents Federal Budget with total outlay of Rs7022bn

ISLAMABAD: Federal Budget with a total outlay of 7022 billion rupees for the next fiscal year, containing relief for the poor and measures for economic stabilization and fiscal discipline, has been announced.
Minister of State for Finance Hammad Azhar presented the budgetary proposals in the National Assembly on Tuesday evening.
The resource availability during the next fiscal year has been estimated at 7899.1 billion rupees against 4917.2 billion rupees in the budget estimates of the outgoing fiscal year.
The gross revenue receipts are estimated at 6717 billion rupees, showing an increase of 18.7 percent over the budget estimates of outgoing fiscal year.
After the share of provinces in gross revenue is transferred, the net review of federal government has been estimated to be about 3463 billion rupees for the next fiscal year.
The provincial share in federal taxes is estimated at 3254.5 billion rupees during the next fiscal year, which is 25.7 percent higher than the budget estimates for the outgoing year.
The tax revenue for the next fiscal year is estimated at 5822,160 million rupees, which reflects an increase of 33 percent over revised estimates of the current fiscal year.
Out of this, the FBR collection target is 5550 billion rupees, which will be 12 percent of the GDP.
The Minister of State announced ten per cent ad-hoc relief for the government employees from one to sixteen scales and all personnel of the defence forces.
Five per cent increase has been announced for public sector employees of 17 to 20 grades, while no increase has been made in the salaries of the government employees of 21 and 22 grades.
He also announced increase of ten per cent for all the pensioners. Minimum wage has also been increased to 17500 rupees.
The conveyance of disabled persons has been increased to 2000 rupees from 1000 rupees while special allowance of private secretaries attached with ministers and parliamentary secretaries has been enhanced to 25 per cent.
The Minister of State said the Cabinet members have voluntarily agreed to 10 per cent cut in their salaries.
Hammad Azhar said the PTI government came to power with new vision and commitment and to bring change in the lives of people, ensure merit and protect the vulnerable segments of the society.
The government took a number of steps to correct the course of economy.
Import duties were increased and imports reduced from 49 billion dollars to 45 billion dollars. Remittances increased by 2 billion dollars.
Circular debt was reduced by 12 billion rupees per month and it was brought down to 26 billion rupees from 38 billion rupees. Financial aid from China, UAE and Saudi Arabia helped stabilize the economy. Incentives for export sector were increased for three more years.
He said a program of 6 billion dollars has been agreed with IMF. This will help us gain 2 to 3 billion dollars loan more at very economical rates. Oil payment deferred facility from Saudi Arabia will also help reduce pressure on the government.
Seven billion dollars reduction in Current Account Deficit will be achieved this year, which will be 6.5 billion dollars next year.
The Asset Declaration Scheme will bring the undeclared assets into mainstream and help increase revenue of the government.
Tax policy has been separated from tax administration. Pakistan Banao Certificates were issued in order to provide benefit to Overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan.
Billion Tree Tsunami and Clean and Green Pakistan initiatives were launched. In order to bring FATA into mainstream, special effort has been made.
He said in Naya Pakistan, the culture of tax evasion will be overcome. Civil and Defense authorities have agreed to voluntary reduce in their budgets.
Their budget has been reduced from 460 billion rupees to 437 billion rupees.
On protection of vulnerable segments of society, the Minister of State said a subsidy of 216 billion rupees will be earmarked for 75 percent consumers using less than 300 units of electricity.
The government has constituted a new ministry for the poverty alleviation.
A new ration card scheme for one million people is being launched to provide nutritious food to children and pregnant women. He said 80,000 people will be provided interest free loans every month.
Five hundred Kifalat Marakiz will be set up and disabled persons will be provided with assistive aids. Ehsaas homes will be constructed for elderly people.
The quarterly stipend of 5000 for BISP is being increased to 5500 rupees.
In 50 districts, girls’ stipend money is being increased to 1000 rupees from 750 rupees, besides expanding this service to 100 districts.
He said Sehat Sahulat Cards will be provided to 3.2 million people in 42 districts, while in the second phase 15 million people will be provided with these cards across the country including the tribal districts and Tharparkar.
Hammad Azhar said 93 billion rupees are being allocated for education, nutrition, health and clean drinking water.
The Minister of State said the government will not get loans form State Bank of Pakistan and we will focus on good governance and eradiation of corruption.
He said 200 billion rupees have been proposed for rail and roads; out of which 156 billion rupees will be spent through National Highway Authority.
For energy, the Minister of State said 80 billion rupees are being recommended; out of which 55 billion rupees have been earmarked for Dasu Hydropower project.
He said 60 billion rupees have been allocated for human development, and a record fund of 39 billion rupees has been allocated for higher education.
The Minister of State for Finance said an amount of 10.4 billion rupees for second phase of Quetta Development package will be earmarked as part of development of Balochistan.
He said a sum of 45.5 billion rupees will be spent on nine development projects in Karachi.
Hammad Azhar said employment creation is an important priority area of the government as Pakistan is a country of youth and the number of young people is rising.
He said 28 industries will benefit from 5 million housing program of Prime Minister Imran Khan and create a number of jobs for the youth.
He said work on this project is gaining pace and land has been acquired in Islamabad, Lahore and Faisalabad.
He said the Prime Minister has already inaugurated the project of constructing 25000 housing units in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and 110000 units in Balochistan.
The state minister said loans worth 100 billion rupees will be granted to youth to start their businesses under Kamyab Jawan Program.
The Minister of State said the government is giving incentives and subsidies for the promotion of industrial sector in order to create employment opportunities for the youth.
The steps include 40 billion rupees each subsidies for energy and export sector.
He said the government will maintain the long-term trade financing facility for the industrial sector.
The Minister of State said the government is commencing 280 billion rupees five year programme for the uplift of agriculture sector.
On agriculture tube wells, 6.85 rupees per unit subsidy will be given to the farmers.
The federal and Balochistan governments have started a joint scheme with a ratio of 40:60 for the farmers of Balochistan. – NNI

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