ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is set to unveil on Friday an annual budget of 14.5 trillion rupees for 2023-24 that includes a staggering 66 per cent increase in the discretionary budget of parliamentarians, a decision that could push the cash-strapped country towards achieving appears in the horizon. Defaulting due to dwindling foreign reserves.
The Pakistani government on Wednesday approved a 66 percent increase in the parliamentarians’ discretionary budget, to a record 116 billion rupees for the outgoing fiscal year, the Express Tribune reported.
The draft budget, which is the last by Shabazz Sharif’s government before elections later this year, includes a deficit gap of 6 trillion rupees which the government will try to bridge through various means including external financing.
Total budget expenditure is expected to reach 14.5 trillion rupees. Government employees are likely to receive a 30 percent increase in their allocated relief allowances as well as a 20 percent increase in pensions.
Dar announced a GDP growth target of 3.5 percent for next year.
The Express Tribune reports that the budget includes a proposal for new taxes of 700 billion rupees.
It was also proposed to increase the allowance for medical services and transportation for government employees by 100 percent. The fiscal deficit target is set at 7.7 percent of GDP.
The revenue collection target has been estimated at 9.2 trillion rupees. The Federal Revenue Board (FBR) will be set a target for revenue generation at 2.8 trillion rupees, of which 55 per cent will be transferred to the provinces.
The federal government plans to spend 950 billion rupees on development. The sum of 200 billion rupees will be spent on launching new projects under public-private partnership mode.
The total development budget of the district has been allocated at 1.55 trillion rupees.
An amount of 1.8 trillion rupees has been proposed for defence.
Besides, FBR is expected to collect an additional Rs 1.9 trillion in the next financial year.
Pakistan’s budget is being watched closely as the government is caught between an agenda of painful fiscal consolidation reforms set out by the International Monetary Fund, and making way for any relief to the people ahead of national elections scheduled for early November. mentioned.
The report also noted that the government appears to be ignoring the revival of the International Monetary Fund programme, the report said. It said it was spending the money in complete violation of an understanding reached with the International Monetary Fund in February this year, which aimed to limit the primary deficit to just 0.5 percent of GDP. For the outgoing fiscal year, the federal budget deficit is now expected to be around 6.4 trillion rupees or 8.1 percent of GDP, exceeding the target of 4.5 trillion rupees.
The government initially allocated 70 billion rupees for parliamentarians’ programs in the current financial year, an amount which proved insufficient due to competing demands for additional funds by the thirteen coalition parties.
With the latest approval, the total appropriation for such schemes has been increased to Rs 116 billion for the outgoing financial year, reflecting a two-thirds increase of Rs 46 billion.


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