Pakistan Budget: Development Allocation Down By 19.2%

The total allocations for federal and provincial Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in Pakistan’s budget 2022-2023, which was presented in the National Assembly on Friday, have gone down significantly from last year’s budget.

Notably, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presented the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23) in the National Assembly on Friday.

Under this budget, federal PSDP makes up Rs 727 billion, which has gone down 19.2 per cent from last year’s budgeted amount of Rs 900 billion. Moreover, the Provincial PSDP for FY23 has been allocated at Rs 1,432 billion, a decrease of 16 per cent from last year’s budget of Rs 1,235 bn, reported Dawn.

The passing of the budget this time in NA was less controversial as there was no opposition present in the House since former Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members had tendered their resignations.

While giving his speech in the NA, Ismail lashed out at Imran Khan’s former government blaming it for the debilitating state of the country’s economy.

“An inexperienced team brought the country to the brink. Different people presented the budget every year presenting different policies which hurt investor sentiment,” the finance minister said.

Moreover, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while taking to Twitter wrote, “These are difficult times brought upon us by recent years of economic mismanagement. Through this budget, my government will steer our way out of these challenges by taking tough decisions while minimising [the] impact on vulnerable segments of [the] population,” he added.

The key budgetary proposals were — Minimum tax bracket for small business persons to be raised from Rs 0.4 million to Rs 0.6 million, Minimal taxable income limit will be raised from Rs 0.6m to Rs 1.2 m per year on salaried class, 15 pc increase in salaries of government employees and Sales tax exemption on import of solar panels and distribution, as per the media portal.

The budget outlay this year is Rs 9,502 billion, almost a trillion rupees higher than last year’s outlay.

The government has budgeted the total current expenditure at Rs 8,694 bn for FY23, which is 15.5 pc higher than last year’s budgeted figure.

Defence expenditure is budgeted at Rs 1,523 bn, which makes up 17.5 pc of total current expenditure and is 11.16 per cent higher than last year.

Interest payments, or debt servicing, budgeted for FY23 have risen a whopping 29.1 pc from last year to Rs 3,950 bn — making up the single largest expenditure of the government, which accounts for 45.4 pc of total current expenditure. (ANI)

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