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IMF watches Fin Min launching ‘pre-election’ budget

ISLAMABAD: IMF hawks keenly watched as PM Shehbaz Sharif instructed his relative Ishaq Dar take maximum measures in the FY 2024 budget enabling the Coalition Government lawmakers face their constituents before the forthcoming general elections.

Ishaq Dar was supposed to unveil Rs. 14.46 Trillion Deficit Budget on Friday (9th of June, 2023) at 6PM at National Assembly here but he opted to sing the old song how PTI Government under the leadership of Imran Khan, destroyed the momentum of earthshaking advancements that PML-N Government was achieving in the realm of Economy.

While claiming that the budget was not a election-year budget, Ishaq Dar said that the GDP Growth target was 3.5 percent, whereas, earlier the WP, painting a gloomy scenario, said that the real GDP Growth could not be more than 2 percent.

Fin Min told that the total expenses estimate was set at Rs 14.46 trillion ( Rs 7.3 trillion to be paid as interest is included in it).

According to the genius relative of the PM, the budget deficit will remain 6.54 percent and the primary balance will be a surplus of 0.4 percent to GDP.

FBR will have to collect Rs. 9.2 Trillion (with a Provincial Share of Rs. 5.276 Trillion).

Fin Min said that the total income of the federal government is expected to be Rs 6.887 Billion whereas, the Federal Non-Tax income will be Rs. 2.963 Trillion.

While Rs. 950 Billion has been allocated for PSDP (2023-24), Rs. 200 Billion will be managed by means of public-pvt partnership.

The Defense/Civil Administration will be given Rs. 1.8 Trillion, whereas Rs 761 billion will go towards payments of pensions.

Relative of the PM further told that Rs. 1.074 will be spent on Power and Gas sectors subsidies.

Talking to NPTV a number of office bearers of various Chambers rejected the budget saying there was no element that could bring the country out of the prevailing economic crisis.

Breakup (in Billions of Rupees):

TOTAL RESOURCES (I to V): Rs. 14,460

(FBR) – Federal
Consolidated Fund: 9,200

Non-Tax Revenue: 2,963

a) Gross Revenue Receipts: 12,163

b) Less Provincial Share: 5,276

I.Net Revenue Receipts (a-b): 6,887

II. Non-Bank Borrowing (NSSs & Others) – Public Account: 1,906

III. Net External Receipts – Fed. Consolidated Fund: 2,527

VI. Bank Borrowing (T-Bills, PIBs, Sukuk) – Fed. Consolidated Fund: 3,124

V. Privatization Proceeds – Fed. Consolidated Fund: 15

Total (II+III+IV+V): 7,572

Total Expenditure (A+B) Rs. 14,460

A. Current: 13,320

Interest Payments: 7,303

Pension: 761

Defense Affairs & Services: 1,804

Grants and Transfers to Provinces & Others: 1,464

Subsidies: 1,074

Running of Civil Govt: 714

Provision for Emergency and others : 200

B. Development: 1,140

Federal PSDP: 950

Net Lending: 190

Savants at the helm of affairs go haywire wondering how the announced amount would be generated by means of this unimaginative budget that is to be fuelled by debt and more debt.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.

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