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Pakistan to exceed revenue target in FY22: Shaukat Tarin

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  • Tarin says revenue will hit Rs6.1tr, compared to a target of Rs5.8tr.
  • He is confident of defending PM’s subsidy package during IMF review.
  • “IMF shouldn’t have any objections on this,” finance minister says.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will exceed the revenue target set in the annual budget for the current financial year, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Wednesday.

Tarin said revenue would hit Rs6.1 trillion ($34.2 billion), compared to a target of Rs5.8 trillion.

“Despite that, I gave the target of 5.8 trillion, I’m going to hit at 6.1 trillion, and I’m tracking,” he told a news conference in Islamabad.

He said a recent fuel and electricity subsidy package announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan would be partially financed by the extra revenue, which may cause the fiscal deficit to slightly rise or fall.

“If due to that the deficit may go a bit 0.5% up or down, that may be,” he said.

Read more: Shaukat Tarin opposes PM Imran Khan’s public outburst against EU envoys

Embattled PM Imran Khan, facing a no-confidence move to oust him from office by opposition parties, announced a cut in petrol and electricity prices on Monday despite a steep rise in the global oil market, pledging to freeze the new rates until the next budget in June.

The subsidy will cost around $1.5 billion, a big number for Pakistan to defend during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 7th review, which already has started, of a $6 billion rescue package agreed in 2019.

The south Asian country had to undertake fiscal tightening measures to pass its last IMF review, which was delayed by months as the government struggled to complete prior action required by the lender to release $1 billion in February.

The finance ministry has said that Pakistan was confident it will be able to defend its subsidy package during the IMF review, which Tarin also reiterated.

“We are doing it with our own revenues, which has improved. We have a space for that,” he said. “So, IMF shouldn’t have any objections on this.”

Business

Prior to the budget address, the PSX-100 index rebounds following a continuous fall for 7 straight days.

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The Pakistan Stock Exchange rebounded after a continuous decrease of 7 days and surpassed the threshold of 73,000 points, experiencing a surge of more than 500 points in the benchmark.

The PSX Tuesday experienced a decline of more than 650 points, potentially due to tax measures being considered in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.

The investors are concerned about the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reducing the interest rate, as well as the unresolved circular debt, which has increased to over Rs5.3 trillion.

The KSE-100 index concluded the day with significant losses, at its lowest point.

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Pakistan experiences substantial expansion in the information technology sector.

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Pakistan experienced significant development in the exports of its IT sector, reaching a total of $2.283 billion, as stated in a recent Economic Survey Report.

The increase in exports emphasized the rising global demand for IT services from Pakistan and the sector’s impact on the national economy.

The survey demonstrated that IT freelancers contributed $35 million in remittances, highlighting their significance in the IT industry.

The study data indicates a significant rise in the number of broadband and telecom customers nationwide, with broadband users reaching 135 million and telecom users growing to 194 million.

Earlier this week, the federal government has suggested a substantial 357 percent rise in the budget for the IT sector for the fiscal year 2024-25.

As to reliable sources, the Ministry of IT has been granted a budget of Rs 27.43 billion in the development budget, out of which Rs 6.28 billion has been allotted for the implementation of 15 new projects.

The government has additionally suggested allotting Rs 21.15 billion for projects that are currently in progress, as well as Rs 3.5 billion for the Digital Economy initiative.

Additional noteworthy allocations consist of Rs 1 billion for fostering innovation in the IT sector, Rs 50 million for the digitalization of the national assembly, and Rs 300 million for the implementation of smart office projects in government ministries.

The government has additionally suggested investing Rs 9.92 billion for the Islamabad Technology Development Park and Rs 6.78 billion for the creation of an IT park in Karachi. The budget additionally comprises a proposition for an allocation of Rs 1 billion for the Cybersecurity Fund for the Digital Pakistan initiative.

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Pakistan will unveil its Rs18 trillion budget today.

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The budget will be presented by Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb, the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, on the floor of the National Assembly.

The government sources stated that the budget will focus on alleviating the hardships faced by the people, revitalizing the agriculture sector, advancing information technology (IT), and enhancing exports.

The administration asserted that the budget will encompass not only fiscal management and revenue mobilization, but also measures for economic stabilization and growth, reduction in non-development spending, job creation, and people-friendly policies aimed at achieving socioeconomic prosperity for the country.

The preparations for the announcement of the federal budget for fiscal year 2024-25 are progressing actively and in accordance with the specified dates.

The budget is being formulated through extensive collaboration among all the departments and ministries responsible for budget-related activities, encompassing the presentation of the budget before Parliament and the initiation of the Economic Survey.

It is important to note that the budget is being presented while Pakistan is in discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a potential package of up to $8 billion.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb presented the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2023-24 on Tuesday. According to the survey, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.38 percent, surpassing the projected objective of 2 percent.

During the launch event of the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2023-24, Federal Minister for Finance Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb stated that despite difficulties, the country has made substantial advancements in attaining macroeconomic stability. Notably, there has been a remarkable 30 percent increase in revenue collection, a decrease in the current account deficit, a reduction in inflation, and a stable currency.

The finance minister stated that this position demonstrated a significant reversal from a fragile economic state, marked by a 0.2% fall in GDP, a 29% devaluation of the rupee, and a reduction in foreign exchange reserves, which had decreased to a level sufficient to cover only two weeks of imports.

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