Pakistan govt unveils Rs 8.5 tn FY budget, defence gets Rs 1,370 bn

Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo: Reuters)

Pakistan government on Friday proposed Pakistani rupees 8,487 billion budget for the next financial year with a fiscal deficit target at 6.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Pakistani rupees 1,370 billion have been allocated to defence services, up 6.2 per cent from last year.

Expenditure on Defence Services makes up around 16 per cent of total expenditure budgeted for FY22, down from 18 per cent last year, Dawn reported.

The budget was presented by Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin at a time Pakistani debt-ridden economy is facing an economic crisis aggravated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tarin began his speech by saying there were a lot of difficulties but this government had laid the ground for the economy to revive and now "it is going towards development and prosperity".

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari were in the house as lawmakers from their parties chanted slogans in protest during the minister's speech. Earlier, Bilawal met Sharif at his chamber in the assembly and they decided both parties would jointly oppose the PTI's budget.

During the last three years, the government faced several economic challenges.

Tarin said PM Imran Khan's government does not hesitate from taking difficult decisions. He said the incumbent government had, through its sound economic policies, turned around the current account deficit into a surplus in 2021.

As he spoke, Opposition members continued to bang desks and shouted slogans of "Go Niazi Go!".

The minister announced that for FY22, the government had set the GDP growth target at 4.8 percent.

The total expenditure budgeted for next year stood at Pakistani Rs 8,487 billion which is almost 19 per cent higher than the last year's budget size of Rs 7,136 billion.

Total allocations for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) have been budgeted at Rs 2,135 billion for FY22, up 37 per cent from R1,324 billion last year.

For the upcoming fiscal year, the government targets to keep inflation at 8.2per cent, which is significantly higher than the 6.5per cent targeted for FY21.

The government has also allocated a budget of 1.1 billion US dollars to purchase COVID-19 vaccines to meet the target of 100 million people's vaccination by June next year, said the minister, adding that another amount of 100 billion rupees will also be spent as a COVID-19 emergency fund.

Tarin said that the government has allocated special funds for hydropower projects, anti-carbon emission projects, tourism, special technology zones, public housing loans, agriculture development and power distribution.

Starting from June 14, 2021, the house will start a debate on the proposed budget for the next 10 working days, after which the house is likely to conduct voting to approve the budget on June 28.

Following the approval, the budget will be presented before the Senate or the upper house.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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