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PML-N government unveils Federal Budget 2017-18 with Rs4.75tr outlay

PML-N's fifth budget allocates more than Rs1tr to development projects, Rs920bn to defence spending.
Updated May 27, 2017 12:40pm

Lawmakers had gathered on Friday in the National Assembly in Islamabad ahead of the government's announcement of the Federal Budget 2017-18.

The session was a turbulent one, as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was initially prevented from speaking after opposition lawmakers said they wanted to protest the manhandling of agitating farmers who had gathered at D-Chowk earlier in the day.

The opposition eventually walked out in the middle of the finance minister's speech, leaving Dar to deliver his 71-page speech on the government's aspirations for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2017.

"This is the fifth budget being presented by the PML-N government," the finance minister observed in his opening remarks, terming it an achievement for Pakistan's democracy.

Reflecting on the government's growth story over the last four years, the finance minister claimed that the government had 'turned the economy around'.

"We will be one of the largest economies by 2020," the minister claimed.

"Just four years ago, this extraordinary turnaround would have seemed impossible," he said.

International observers are cognisant of Pakistan's successes, and Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch have raised their ratings for the country, Dar said.

"We have also performed better than the global average growth rate," the minister said.

Before moving on to the actual budget document itself, the finance minister spoke at length about the Pakistan Economic Survey, released yesterday, using data included in the report to substantiate the government's 'economic turnaround' narrative.

Key features of the budget

The PML-N's budget targets

Agriculture

Textiles

Housing

Infrastructure

Financial sector

Small and medium enterprises

Information Technology

Development expenditures

Energy

Water

Roads and highways

Railways

Human development

Gwadar

Special projects

Security

Taxes


For all Budget 2017-18 and Pakistan Economic Survey-related coverage, visit our dedicated page here.