ISLAMABAD: The budget of fiscal year 2018-19 was announced yesterday in the National Assembly. Miftah Ismail, the newly appointed Finance Minister, presented it.
Boasting the achievements of the PML-N government, Miftah Ismail, under heavy opposition from other parties presented the budget 2018-19. Finance Minister started off with how the country was under debt, inflation was on rise, gdp was an all time low. He added that there were power crisis, farmers were starved off their rights and there was a huge law and order situation.
GDP Growth and Estimates
Ismail Miftah said that the GDP growth rate last year was 5.4 percent and has now grown to 5.8 percent, the highest so far in 13 years. He added that we are the 24th largest economy in the world today. Miftah Ismail talked about the inflation saying that when his government was elected and took office, the inflation was upto 12 percent. Today it is kept below 5 percent, while the budget deficit will remain under 5 percent this year.
Tax Collection and Increase in Salary and Pensions
He while pointing out at the tax amnesty scheme from Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi, he said that the target of tax collection for the next fiscal year is fixed at Rs4450 billion, with an estime of 15 percent increase. He said along with the increase in pensions and salaries, the budget will give biggest relief to working class people.
Miftah said people earning about 1.2 million annual income does not have to pay tax. People who earn between 1.2 million and 2.4 million will pay 5% tax. He continued on and said that people who earn more than 2.4 annually will have to pay 10% tax. This year’s GDP growth estimate is 6.2 percent against the last year’s estimate of 6 percent.
Finance Minister announced 10% increase in pensions and salaries in budget 2018-19. Minimum pension has increased from 6000 to 10,000 Rupees. Minimum pension of people above age of 75 is set to be at 15,000 Rupees this year. The family pension would also increase from 4500 to 7500 Rupees.
Agricultural Loan and Karachi Special Budget
Minister boasted further on his government’s achievements saying that the agriculture production has increase in his government’s term. He gave an estimate of the loans provided to farmers by 1,100 billion rupees.
Other than that Miftah Ismail said special budget has been added for the city of Karachi, the business capital of the country. He told that the 25 billion rupees worth package has been set for Karachi for development. He added that there is a plan to build a desalination plant for water shortage in the city.
Important Features of Budget 2018-19
- The total outlay of budget this year is Rs5.9 trillion
- The target of tax revenue is Rs4.435 trillion
- Rs1.1 trillion allocated to defense budget.
- Estimates of forex reserves is $15bn in FY18-19
- Rs688 million rupees to be spent for decreasing poverty
- Rs800 billions is set for agriculture loans
- Budget for Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is 124.7 billion rupees
- Rs10 billion budget for Youth Program
- No duty or tax imposed on dairy farmers and livestock
- The fiscal deficit is expected at Rs2,029 billion
- Inflation rate to be contained below 6 percent
- Salaries and pensions increased by 10 per cent.
- Rs25 billion special package for Karachi announced
- A hefty amount of Rs220 billion for subsides on power, textile, water, construction of small dams.
- Development projects budget will be Rs201 billion.
- Rs39 bn allocated for Pakistan Railways
- Rs137 bn allocated for Gwadar infrastructure development