ISLAMABAD: Talking to the media in the post budget news conference Saturday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claimed PML-N government will present its sixth consecutive budget in next year as well. He said the federal government suggested a macro-economic road map which spans five years instead of three, adding that a consensus on economy should be made before elections, and the country’s defence has been prioritized in Budget 2017-18.
Ishaq Dar told that the total outlay of the development budget would amount to Rs. 2,100 billion. “Our foremost priority is to strengthen Pakistan’s economic position. We will have to move forward with our available resources. The budget gave due attention to the hitherto forgotten agricultural sector”, Dar added.
While presenting the possibility of an auspicious future economic scenario, the finance minister opined, “It is possible to achieve the feat of 6 percent growth rate which would be a huge milestone. CPEC projects would help accelerate economic development.”
He went on to explain that the loans were taken only for development related expenses, and that budgetary planning had raised the tax collection target by 14 percent. He further told that one million people will be trained in IT sector.
Addressing the post budget news conference, the federal minister of finance said that two million farmers will be awarded loans of up to Rs. 50,000 on easy conditions, while disclosing that a tax of Rs. 300. was removed on each DAP gunnysack. He told that taxation was reduced on seven poultry related segments.
Responding to public reservations on budget, Mr. Dar said, “The notion that the government has imposed taxes of Rs. 500 billion is wrong; the common man has not been taxed anew. Banks would not get from farmers a profit of more than 9.9 percent. Nothing has been made more expensive; shopkeepers should not do so own their own as well. Milk prices have been untouched.”
Dar, continuing to apprise the media of the budget details, said that the farmers have been given subsidy on electricity for using tube wells. He also told that the Pakistan Development Fund had been made operative in a bid to expedite investment. He suggested that whichever government comes into power next, it would do well to focus on growth rate. He said that the development budget would help extenuate the fiscal deficit. “Concessions being granted to the textile industry would also continue”, Dar added.
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