Hammad Azhar unveils Rs7.02tr budget for FY 2019-20
The state minister stated that UAE, Saudi Arabia and China injected $9.1 billion in Pakistan’s economy under umbrella of the loans and aids. He went on to say that agreement worth $6.1 billion has been inked with International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"Current account deficit will be slashed by 7 billion dollars in FY 2019-20 while by another $6 billion in FY 2020-21", the minister told attendants.
"Exports will be boosted through a revised duty structure. Power and gas will be cheapened and Free Trade Agreements will be re-evaluated. Pakistani will be made a part of the international value chain", vowed the state minister.
The circular debt of electricity sector stands at whooping Rs1.6 trillion whereas that of gas sector stands at Rs150 billion.
The state minister added that government's running expenses will be slashed to Rs437bn from Rs460bn.
The Federal government has apparently accepted the target for FBR revenues of Rs 5550 billion in 2019-20. Govt has slapped 17pc sales tax on sugar.
“Rs1800 billions have been earmarked for uplift projects. Rs950 billions have been earmarked for uplift projects of the federal government”, stated the state minister.
- Govt has earmarked Rs60bn for human development
- Rs55bn for Dasu hydro power project
- Higher education will receive Rs45bn
- Agriculture will receive Rs1.2tr in the federal development budget
- Rs70bn on dam projects; Rs15bn and 20bn respectively for Bhasha and Mohmand dam land acquisition
- Rs24bn have been earmarked for Havelian Thakot motorway
- Samrial Kharian motorway to also be constructed
- Rs45.5bn have been set aside for nine projects in Karachi
- Balochistan development package to get Rs10.4bn and Rs30bn for water projects
Rs3,255bn to be disbursed to provinces via the 7th NFC award, 32pc higher than last year.
“Rs70 billions have been allocated for water reservoirs. The government has estimated that Rs421 billion will be used in paying pensions”, stated Azhar.
"We will increase our tax net..benami and non registered assets will be brought into the net," he said.
He said that the tax refund system will be improved.
Without any hike, the defence budget has been kept static at Rs1150 billion.
The government has allocated Rs47 billion for higher education.
The government has increased salaries of the Grade1-16 federal employees by 10pc, Grade 17-20 by 5pc whereas there will be no increase in the salaries of the Grade 21-22 government officials.
State minister added that all ministers have agreed on reducing their salaries by 10pc. He added that minimum wage has been increased to Rs 17500.
GST to remain unchanged at 17pc
Azhar stated that the general sales tax on goods will remain unchanged and will stand at 17 per cent for FY2019-20.
Key Features of Budget 2019-20
- Rs 40 billion subsidy will be provided on gas and electricity
- 5 percent ad hoc relief for government employees from grade 17 to 20
- 10 percent ad hoc relief for armed forces employees
- Tax net will be increased as only 20,00,000 people in Pakistan file tax returns of them 600,000 are employees.
- Higher Education Commission has been allocated an amount of over Rs 28,646 million for the ongoing and new schemes.
- Pensions for retired employees increased by 10 per cent
- The PSDP allocation for Climate Change Sector has been kept at Rs1102 million .
- Rs 63.5 billion for special areas including merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
- A special allocation for Rs 75 billion will be provided for equitable Regional Development in order to accelerate development of less developed areas and Rs 22 billion are set aside for 10 year development plan of merged districts.
- The National Agriculture Emergency Program intends to spend Rs 290 billion in the next five years to boost the sector.
Sugar tax suggested to be hiked to 17pc
Sugar prices are likely to go up as it has been recommended that the sales tax, which previously stood at 8.5 per cent, now be increased to 17 per cent.
Sugary drinks will also see an increased tax duty of 13.2 pc versus the previous figure of 11.25 pc.
Property can't be registered in the name of non-filers
Withholding tax to be imposed on purchase of properties irrespective of the value of the property.
Property can’t be registered in the names of non-filers.
Opposition creates pandemonium, chants ‘go niazi go’
Opposition lawmakers created ruckus during the speech of the Hammad Azhar and chanted ‘go niazi go’ slogans. Many lawmakers were carrying placards displaying ‘Go Niazi Go’ and ‘Say no to IMF budget’.