Over Rs 4.8tr federal budget to be presented on Friday


Govt has earmarked Rs 1.675tr for development schemes under PSDP

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar will present the fourth federal budget of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government with an outlay of over Rs 4.8 trillion for the fiscal year 2016-17 in the parliament tomorrow (Friday).

Special budget sessions of the National Assembly and Senate have already been summoned by President Mamnoon Hussain.

According to official sources, the budget will envisage further improving economic growth, overcoming challenges, particularly the energy crisis, maintaining fiscal discipline and reducing non-development expenditures and providing relief to the masses, besides promoting investment for jobs creation and people friendly policies for the socio economic prosperity of the country.

The main focus in the budget will be on the development of energy, infrastructure and human resource sectors. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will be prioritised.

The budget is likely to enhance allocations for social safety net for providing maximum relief to the vulnerable segment of the society.

It will focus on social sector development and revenue enhancement measures while reforms will also be introduced for improving governance and boosting private sector investment for the prosperity of the country.

The National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif through video link from London approved Rs 1.675 trillion development outlay including Rs 800 billion as federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and Rs 875 billion as provincial Annual Development Programme (ADP).

The NEC was informed that 4.71 per cent growth rate was achieved during the outgoing fiscal year (2015-16), which is the highest growth in the last eight years while other economic indicators have shown a marked improvement in the fiscal year 2015-16.

Sources said that “Pakistan of 2016 is far better than the country was in 2013”, adding that the economy is now on the take off stage and will further improve.

They further said that the National Economic Council (NEC) in its meeting held yesterday has fixed GDP growth rate target of 5.7 per cent for the upcoming budget 2016-17.

They expressed the hope that keeping in view the improving economy, the government will be able to achieve the said target of 5.7 per cent growth.

The government has earmarked Rs 1.675 trillion in the upcoming budget for development schemes under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2016-17.

“Out of the total allocation, Rs.875 billion have been earmarked for the provinces,” sources said.

Giving a break-up of the allocation, they said that Rs 468 billion have been allocated for infrastructure including Rs 157 billion for power, Rs 260 billion for transport and communications, Rs 33 billion for water and Rs 18 billion for Physical Planning and Housing.

Another Rs 89 billion have been allocated for social sector, Rs 29 billion have been earmarked for education including Higher Education Commission (HEC), Rs 30 billion for health and population, Rs 20 billion for Sustainable Development Goals Programme and Rs 10 billion for other social sectors.

Sources added that, Rs 9 billion were allocated for science and IT, Rs 8 billion for governance, Rs 42 billion for special areas including AJK, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.

They added that out of Rs 4 billion for production, Rs 2 billion each have been earmarked for industries and food and agriculture sectors while, Rs 28 billion have been earmarked for special federal development programme under PSDP.

The sources added that government in the Budget 2016-17 is likely to announce a special package for the promotion of the agriculture sector in the country.

The budget speech of the finance minister will be broadcast and telecast live from the Parliament House on Friday afternoon.