‘New budget to create jobs, alleviate poverty’


—File photo

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday said the new federal budget focus is on growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and improving living standard of common people.

While explaining salient features of the federal budget 2017-18 at a news conference here, Dar said “we have saved and consolidated the macroeconomic goals. We will have to work hard with unity for strengthening the economy of the country”.

Dar said that the government will also present the next federal budget and no constitutional amendments are needed in this regard.

He said that defence has been given preference in the budget and 920 billion rupees have been allocated for this sector.

He said 1001 billion rupees have been allocated for PSDP and after inclusion of the provincial PSDP the amount will reach to 2100 billion rupees.

The finance minister said that 3.4 % growth in agriculture sector has been witnessed and we will have to work hard to sustain it.

He said agriculture credit has been set at 1001 billion rupees.  He said that two million small farmers with less than 12.5 acres holding will be given loan up to fifty thousand rupees at 9.9 percent interest rate.

He said relief has also been given to farmers and poultry farmers in a number of ways by decreasing sales tax. He said for decrease on the sales tax of DAP the government will have to bear 13.8 billion losses.

He said 10000 MW power will be added in the national grid by next year. He said safety net has been increased with 121 billion rupees. He said the current expenditure will be kept below the inflation to reduce the budget deficit.

He said tax incentives have been given for agriculture and information technology.  He said that IT ministry will train one million free lancers to create new jobs for youth. He said the actual tax in this budget is 87 billion rupees because the total tax is 120 billion and 33 billion is relief.

Meanwhile, Dar has clarified that the regime for milk was the same as it was last year hence there should be no increase in its prices during the financial year 2017-18.  — Radio Pakistan