Pakistan to unveil federal budget on April 27
The Gulf Today | March 12, 2018- Adviser to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Economic Affairs Dr Miftah Ismail said that the Federal Budget 2018-19 would be unveiled on April 27 followed by provincial budgets to ensure their approvals by respective assemblies before May 31.
“We will present the federal budget on April 27 because our term completes on May 31 and so that the provinces could also announce their budgets,” he said while speaking at a news conference with Minister for Interior and Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Minister of State for Finance Rana Afzal Khan.
Ismail said Holy Month of Ramadan was also beginning by mid-May and the budgetary approval process had to be completed before the parliamentary term came to an end.
He said the federal government had already discussed the budget schedule with the provincial governments and political parties and they had agreed to it.
Responding to a question about the external financing gap before June 30 and theproposed launch of $1.5 billion bond that he held back recently, the adviser said the “State Bank of Pakistan will have $12.5 billion by end-June”, but added that he could not provide all the details at this stage except that some borrowing would have to be made.
He said the government would contain fiscal deficit at around five per cent and would not allow it to go beyond 5.2% at any cost, adding that the previous government left it at 8.2%.
The press conference was called to present achievements made by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz government over the last five years.
Ismail said the GDP growth rate was expected to reach 6% this year from about 3pc when the PML-N government came to power five years ago, while revenue increased from Rs1.946 trillion to Rs4.103 trillion.
This meant over Rs2 trillion of additional revenue had come into the system which, along with GDP growth, was helping create additional jobs, he said, adding that if elected to power again, the PML-N would take the economic growth rate to 7-%. Ismail said the improved energy supply about 10,000MW of electricity and 1,200 million cubic feet of gas per day had addressed key bottleneck holding bacl( industrial performance.
He said transfers to the provinces had increased to Rs2.4 trillion from Rs1.2 trillion four years ago, adding that the Public Sector Development Programme size almost tripled to Rsl trillion from Rs348 billion.
Responding to a question about the debt situation, he said domestic debt stood at 38.8% of GDP in May 2013, which increased by 2.3% to 41.1%, while external debt declined from 21.4% to 20.6%.