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Federal Budget 2018-19 to be announced on April 27: Miftah

Updated March 09, 2018

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Advisor on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail along with Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and State Minister for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan jointly address a press conference in Islamabad. — APP
Advisor on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail along with Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and State Minister for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan jointly address a press conference in Islamabad. — APP

The federal government will present the budget for fiscal year 2018-19 for approval from the National Assembly on April 27, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Miftah Ismail said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Ismail said that the government has taken all political parties into confidence about the budget, which he said would be presented on April 27 before the five-year tenure of the incumbent government ends on May 31.

He claimed that the tenure of the outgoing government saw a decline in foreign loans and a rise in local loans.

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"The PML-N government added 12,000MW of electricity to the system while work is underway on power projects worth 20,000MW," Ismail claimed, adding that areas where people regularly pay bills no longer experience loadshedding.

The adviser claimed that Pakistan is now ranked on the fifth spot globally in the race for economic progress and international institutions have been rating Pakistan's economy positively.

Speaking at the press conference, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the revenue collection at the end of the previous government's tenure was Rs1,946 billion but the PML-N government has set the tax collection target of Rs4,013bn for the next year.

The fiscal deficit for 2018-2019 is projected to be 5.2 per cent, the minister said.

He said the federal development budget in the previous government's term was Rs348bn, but the current government earmarked Rs1,001bn for the sector.

The current account deficit which used to vary between 2-3pc has been rising because of the "increasing pace of progress", Iqbal said.

He said the increase in the country's import bill has contributed to the widening of the current account deficit, but claimed that exports have more than doubled under the current government's watch.