The Pakistan People’s Party led coalition government marked a new milestone on Friday, June 1, when Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh presented the Federal budget for the next financial year 2012-13 in the National Assembly.
This was the first time in Pakistan’s history that a democratic government presented its fifth national budget during its tenure.
The total budget outlay for 2012-13 has been estimated at Rs3.203 trillion.
Budgetary proposals include the creation of one hundred thousand new jobs in the economy, special measures to address the ensuing energy crisis and the construction of water reservoirs and infrastructure across the country. What these new ‘special measures’ are will be revealed with Friday’s budget speech.
Moreover, the government claims that no new tax will be imposed in the budget and relief would be given to the masses, while government employees are also expected to get raises in their salaries.
The finance ministry on Thursday launched the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2011-2012 — a pre-budget document highlighting the overall performance of the economy during the out-going fiscal year.
The government claims to achieve growth in FY 2012-13 through improvement in productivity and competitiveness, market reforms, promoting cities as regional clusters, and reforming civil service institutions and public sector enterprises.
According to the survey, 3.7 per cent GDP growth has been achieved in the outgoing fiscal year against previous year’s target of 4.2 per cent. Meanwhile, the GDP growth target for the upcoming year will be set at 4.3 per cent, and fiscal deficit has been targeted at 4.7 per cent of GDP.
Agriculture growth during the upcoming fiscal year 2012-13 is projected at 4 per cent, manufacturing at 4.1 per cent while the services sector will grow at 4.6 per cent.
The development budget was approved at Rs.873 billion for Public Sector Development Programmes (PSDP) for the year 2012-13, with Rs.360 billion as Federal component and Rs.513 billion provincial component.
Under the PSDP allocations, priority has been given to water and power sector, besides emphasizing on social sector health education and poverty alleviation, claims the finance ministry.
The Consumer Price Index Inflation stood to be around 10.8 per cent during the year as against 13.7 per cent during the previous year, whereas it is now targeted at 9.5 per cent.