Imran meets economic team ahead of Tuesday budget


–PTI leadership formulates strategy to handle Opp protest against budget, lawyers’ nationwide strike against ‘mala fide’ reference 

–PM summons special meeting to discuss Punjab budget

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday sat down with senior party leaders, including Advisor on Finance Hafeez Shaikh and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, to discuss preparations for the budget for the fiscal year 19-20, scheduled on June 11.

In a meeting with Advisor on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Rizvi and other officials, the prime minister discussed measures taken in the budget.

The spokespersons were also informed of the government’s measures taken for the masses.

The federal cabinet will budget in its weekly meeting on Tuesday, the PTI will then announce the allocation of finances in the National Assembly (NA) session at 4 pm.

The government says that the budget will be poor friendly and that it would cut down unnecessary expenditure, in addition to providing relief to people, especially those who hail from tribal districts.

In a meeting at Bana Gala, the prime minister and senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership also huddled up to take into consideration the opposition’s response to the upcoming budget.

In addition to the federal budget, the government also discussed measures to counter the nationwide protests called by the Pakistan Bar Council against the reference implicating Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa. The huddle also considered a strategy against the possible opposition protests in the wake of the budget.

Imran also held a meeting with CM Buzdar. During the meeting, they discuss the security and political situation in Punjab. Additionally, he also summoned a special session regarding Punjab budget on Monday.

On Saturday, reports surfaced that the government is considering imposing new taxes on the people and might collect property tax from motorways and restaurants.

Reportedly, the Punjab government has also prepared the necessary documents to impose taxes of Rs25 to 30 billion in the next fiscal year. The government is mulling to increase agriculture income tax and suggestions to impose new carbon tax on the use of fuel are also under consideration.

The government is considering widening the professional tax while a professional tax on lawyers has been delayed. The government is also considering to impose a tax on beauty salons.

On the other hand, the Punjab government is planning to increase the growth rate by 5.2 per cent in the next fiscal year. The government is likely to allocate Rs3 billion for South Punjab Secretariat.

The Punjab government has prepared suggestions to create over 0.5 million new jobs in the next fiscal year. The government is also considering to allocate Rs14 billion to complete Orange Line Metro Train. The government has prepared a plan to increase industries through a public-private partnership.



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