Govt to present 3.5 trillion budget today

ISLAMABAD: The newly elected government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will present the budget of fiscal year 2013-14 on Wednesday (Today). The federal finance minister Ishaq Dar will bring out a budget of RS3.5 trillion.

The budget has been formulated in order to target an estimated growth of 4.4% over the next fiscal year, the second major target is to reduce non-development expenses and solve the exacerbating energy crises.

Before presenting the budget, Prime minister Nawaz Sharif will head a cabinet meeting in which he is expected to make final amendments in the budget.

Ishaq Dar in his media briefing informed that a reduction in the electricity circular debt of over Rs500 billion was one of the main thrusts of the new budget. Simultaneously, the finance minister reiterated that an ambitious revenue collection target has been set for the forthcoming year to finance an economic revival in the country.

He added that a 30% decrease in non-development expenditures was expected in the upcoming budget under austerity measures, and the reduction in expenditure would translate into relief for the common man.

Dar will highlight the salient contours of his government’s new economic policy in the traditional budget speech before the National Assembly, whose special budget session has been summoned by President Zardari at 4:30 pm.

Subsequently, the budget will be presented before the Senate at 6:00pm. Under rules of business, the Senate can debate and make recommendations on money bill, but final authority to pass the budget rests with the National Assembly.

During media briefing Ishaq Dar made no big announcement of immediate relief measures and it is expected in that no quick measures will be counted in the budget speech.