By Asif Mahmood
The Finance Minister has tabled the annual budget. It is an unprecedented move. This is first time in the history of Pakistan that an elected government is presenting its fifth consecutive budget in the parliament.
Now the question is : Whether one should bemoan or one must celebrate. We have been habitual in discussing the budget not on its merit or demerits but on the basis of our political affiliations. This is everything but sagacity and justice.
Before analyzing the budget one must not forget the economic condition of the country. The government can offer only what is has. There is no magic. It is game of figure depending upon your economic volume.
As I am writing this , the budget is a developing story. New things may emerge on the surface. But briefly what we are having by now can be summarized as under. Don’t take my words for it; Ishaq Dar is the narrator of the following facts and onus to prove lies upon the gentleman.
- “World’s credible institutions are predicting that Pakistan would join the G-20 by 2030.
- Pakistan’s economy has made progress in every aspect, with its volume cross 300 billion US dollars.
- The growth rate of GDP was at 5.28. highest in 10 years. Per Capita income increased by 22% in the last fiscal year.
- Pakistan is on the track to fast progress. Over 40 increase is witnessed on the import of machinery this year.
- There is no load shedding in the industrial sector.
- 81 percent increase was registered in tax collection during the last four years.
- Our agriculture sector is improving as production of wheat and maize crops had registered significant increase.
- The services sector saw growth of 5.9 percent in 2017.
- We will be one of the largest economies by 2020.
- The development expenditure for next year will be Rs1.001 trillion.
- FBR’s revenue target will be increased by 14%.
- Agriculture, SMEs and IT will be given tax breaks.
- By 2018 summers, nearly 10,000MW of electricity will be added to the national grid, eliminating load-shedding completing.
- BISP will be allocated Rs121b for 5.5 million beneficiaries.
- If the facts are not third kind of lies, the budget in the given situation is not the worst.