ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s government plans to spend 5.9 trillion rupees ($51 billion) in the 2018-19 fiscal year beginning July 1, according to a budget document seen by Reuters on Friday.
“This size is 16.2 percent higher than the size of the budget estimate 2017-18,” the budget document said. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail unveiled the 2018-19 budget in a speech to parliament on Friday ahead of general elections expected by late July.
Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail presented budgetary proposals at the National Assembly.
The federal gross revenue receipts are estimated at 5661 billion rupees as compared to 4992 billion rupees in the outgoing year.
This includes FBR’s tax estimates of 4435 billion rupees as against revised estimates of 3935 billion rupees for the current financial year.
Out of the total revenues, the provincial governments’ share is estimated to 2590 billion rupees as compared to 2316 billion rupees revised estimates for the current financial year.
After transfer to the provincial governments, the net revenue of the federal government is estimated at 3070 billion rupees for the next year as compared to revised estimates of 2676 billion rupees in the current financial year.
The interest payments for next year have been budgeted at 1620 billion rupees against the revised target of 1526 billion rupees for the outgoing year.
The defense budget is proposed at 1100 billion rupees against the revised budget of 999 billion rupees in the outgoing year.
Budget deficit will be four point nine percent of the GDP as opposed to five point five percent of GDP of revised budget estimates in the outgoing year.
The Finance Minister announced ten percent adhoc relief allowance to the civil and armed forces employees and ten percent increase in pensions across the board.
House rent ceiling and house rent allowance have also been increased by fifty percent each.
Minimuum pension is being increased from the existing six thousand to ten thousand rupees considering the difficulties of low paid pensioners.
Similarly, family pension would also get increase from 4500 rupees to 7500 rupees.
Minimum pension of pensioners above seventy five years of age would be fifteen thousand rupees.
The government has also proposed an allocation of twelve billion rupees for provision of advances to government servants for house building and purchase of transport facility.
It has also set aside five billion rupees for senior officers’ performance allowance, details of which would be announced separately.
Over time allowance of staff car drivers and dispatch riders is being increased from forty rupee per hour to eighty rupee per hour.
The finance minister said the financial impact of these proposals will be sixty nine billion rupees.
Prior to Miftah’s presentation, Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi has said that PML-N government considers its responsibility to present budget to run the affairs of the government.
He was responding to points raised by Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Khurshid Shah and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi in the lower house of parliament this afternoon.
He said the next government has the complete authority and right to make changes in the budget.
He said Miftah Ismail will present the budget and it is the decision of cabinet and there is nothing unlawful in it. He said right of presenting the budget belongs to that person who prepares and makes budget with hard work and dedication.
The Prime Minister said Rana Muhammad Afzal, as Minister of State for Finance, assisted Miftah Ismail in the preparation of budget. He said the budget presents unprecedented relief to the people of Pakistan.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says the government is going to provide great relief to the masses in the budget for next fiscal year.
He said that it was cabinet decision that Miftah Ismail will present the budget and there is nothing wrong in this.
Opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed, on a point of order, criticized the government for forwarding a non-elected person to present the federal budget. He said that the Prime Minister could have presented this budget or asked State Minister for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal, who is an elected person of this house to present the budget.
He said that the government is going to complete its tenure and presenting federal budget for the whole year should be left for the next government.
Talking floor, PTI Leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi also voiced that Rana Muhammad Afzal should present the budget.
Later, the opposition walked out of the House.