PTI government presents Rs 7,022 billion budget for 2019-20

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government on Tuesday presented its first budget with total outlay of Rs 7.022 trillion for the fiscal year 2019-20, registering growth of 30 percent against the revised budget of Rs 5.385 trillion for current fiscal year (2018-19).

State Minister for Revenues Hammad Azhar presented the budget in the National Assembly, amid protest by the Opposition parties.

The minister said that total federal revenues have been estimated at Rs 6.717 trillion which is 19 percent higher than the previous year’s revenues of Rs 5.661 trillion.

The collection of revenues by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), he said are estimated to be recorded at Rs 5.555 trillion which are 12.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The minister of state said out of total revenue collections, an amount of Rs 3.255 trillion would be distributed among the provinces under 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) Award which is 32 percent higher than the current year’s share of Rs 2.465 trillion.

He said Net Federal Revenues for the upcoming fiscal year have been estimated at Rs 3.46 trillion against the revenues of Rs 3.07 trillion during current fiscal year which is 13 percent higher.

Similarly, he said the federal budget deficit would be Rs 3.56 trillion whereas the provincial budget surplus is estimated to be at Rs 423 billion for the year 2019-20

Key Features of the Budget 2019-20

The total outlay of the budget 2019-20 is Rs7022 billion

  • Ministers have agreed for 10 percent cut in salaries
  • Rs 40 billion subsidy will be provided on gas and electricity
  • Salaries of civilian employees from grade 1-16 have been increased by 10 per cent
  • GST to remain unchanged at 17 percent
  • 5.2 percent federal excise duty on 1000 CC locally developed vehicles
  • 5 percent federal excise duty on the 1001 to 2000 CC locally developed vehicles
  • Sales tax on sugar increased from 8 percent to 17 percent
  • Rs 100 billion for soft loans under Kamyab Jawan Program
  • Rs 1,000 mln for Kartarpur development
  • Rs Rs 1,266 million allocated for 16 projects for Aviation Division
  • 5 percent ad hoc relief for government employees from grade 17 to 20
  • 10 percent ad hoc relief for armed forces employees
  • Tax net will be increased as only 20,00,000 people in Pakistan file tax returns of them 600,000 are employees.
  • Higher Education Commission has been allocated an amount of over Rs 28,646 million for the ongoing and new schemes.
  • Pakistan’s Defence budget will remain Rs1150 billion
  • Withdrawal of 3% Value Addition Tax on Petroleum Products and Mobile Phones
  • No increase in civil servants of grade 21 and 22
  • Rs3955 billion will be given to the provinces
  • Pensions for retired employees increased by 10 per cent
  • Minimum wage set at Rs17,500
  • Rs 210 billion has been earmarked to implement various physical planning and housing initiatives including Urban and Regional Planning Framework, Smart City Plans and Integrated Strategic Development Plans, including Prime Minister’s Naya Housing Programme and slum upgradation programme.
  • Rs 45.5 billion has been allocated for Karachi’s development programmes
  • The PSDP allocation for Climate Change Sector has been kept at Rs1102 million .
  • Rs 63.5 billion for special areas including merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
  • A special allocation for Rs 75 billion will be provided for equitable Regional Development in order to accelerate development of less developed areas and Rs 22 billion are set aside for 10 year development plan of merged districts.
  • The National Agriculture Emergency Program intends to spend Rs 290 billion in the next five years to boost the sector.
  • 80,000 deserving people will be provided interest free loans every month
  • Rs271 billion has been allocated for subsidy
  • Trade deficit was reduced by $4 bullion.
  • Trade deficit stands at $22 billion.
  • The government has taken measures to boost exports.
  • Rs2891 billion has been allocated to pay the interests
  • Rs70 billion has been allocated for water reservoirs
  • BISP stipend has been increased from Rs5,000 to Rs5,500
  • Rs 1,800 billion kept for development programmes including Rs 950 billion kept for federal development programme .
  • PTI government will not receive any loan from State Bank of Pakistan to bridge budget deficit
  • Government expenses will be cut from Rs460 billion to Rs 437 billion
  • Pakistan facing $ 97 billion debt
  • Trade deficit reached $32 billion
  • Circular debt reached 1200

Opposition protests 

 The Pakistan People’s Party and lawmakers from other opposition parties held protest during the budget speech of Minister of State for Revenues Hammad Azhar in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The PPP lawmakers were wearing black armbands and holding placards to record their protest.

The opposition lawmakers gathered in front of the National Assembly speak’s dice and chanted slogans. They also tore down the copies of budget document.

Prime Minister Imran Khan was present in the house during the first budget of his government.

The budget came a day after the NAB arrested former president Asif Ali Zardari and hours after PMLN leader Hamza Shehbaz was taken into custody by the anti-graft body.

Both the opposition leaders were arrested after their bail pleas were rejected by high courts.

Increase in Salaries

The government has announced 10 per cent ad hoc relief on the running basic pay scales of government employees serving in grade 1 to grade 16.

Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar in his budget speech further informed that 5 per cent ad hoc relief would be provided to government employees in grade 17 to 20 whereas there would be no raise for the government servants in grade 21 to 22 as they had voluntary decided against it.

The ad hoc relief would be based upon basic pay scales of 2017.The pensioners would also get an ad hoc relief of ten per cent.

Cabinet meeting

Earlier, Prime minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the cabinet before the presentation of the budget.

The meeting discussed and approved the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year. Adviser on Finance Hafeez Sheikh briefed the cabinet about the budgetary proposals.

This is the first budget since Pakistan reached an agreement with International Monetary Fund for a $6 billion bailout.

The presentation of PTI’s first budget comes just a day after the government released the latest round of bleak economic figures, showing growth for the current fiscal year falling to 3.3 percent — well below the 6.2 percent target.

The budget session was expected to be fiery after the arrest of PPP Co-Chairman  Asif Zardari on graft charges.

The opposition parties had convened a consultative meeting at the Parliament House at 04:00 pm to discuss the strategy for budget session.

The copy of finance bill 2019-20 will also be laid before the Senate which has been convened to meet at six pm.

AlamulKhabar Pakistan