Finance Minister unveils Rs9.5tr ‘stabilising’ budget for FY23

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APP60-100622 ISLAMABAD: June 10 – Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail presenting Budget for Financial Year 2022-23 at the National Assembly. APP

ISLAMABAD: The Shehbaz Sharif-led coalition government Friday unveiled the “toughest” federal budget for the next fiscal year 2022-23 in the National Assembly with an outlay of Rs9.5 trillion amid strict conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the $6 billion loan programme stalled since months over policy breaches. Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail, while presenting the budget proposals, berated the “incompetent” PTI-led government for its poor performance, saying that the current budget focuses on “sustainable and inclusive growth.” The finance minister said that due to the “incompetency” of the PTI-led government, Pakistan has been facing the issue of skyrocketing inflation. The minister said the government had to move towards “sustainable growth”, adding that the growth target for next year was set at 5%.”The problem of our economy is that growth is 3-4%, but when it moves up to 5-6%, our current account deficit goes out of control, because we prioritise the elite and increase our imports to facilitate them. We need to adopt a new outlook focused on alleviating the lower-income sections of society to increase domestic production,” the minister said. Addressing the Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervez Ashraf, Miftah assured that the new coalition government will pull Pakistan out of the economic crisis: “We have done it before, we can do it, we will do it.”Miftah further added that in the next fiscal year, the country has to improve the economic conditions of the poor by providing them with facilities.  “When the income of the poor people increases, they purchase consumer goods which are produced locally. And this, in turn, reduces the exports and initiates the development process. We can achieve inclusive growth by taking the above-mentioned steps,” he said. The finance minister further highlighted that Pakistan has become the third-most-expensive country due to the incompetency of the PTI-led government.

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