Heralding it to be focused on enhanced employment opportunities and supportive to GDP growth, the federal government has announced its plan to propose budget 2017-18, before the holy month of Ramadan.
The government is expected to present the budget in the federal cabinet during the last week of May for approval. On the same day, the budget will be presented in the National Assembly and subsequently in Senate.
At a meeting scheduled to take place in Dubai on March 28, the government will discuss budget planning and issues with International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials. In the meeting, the finance authorities would brief the IMF delegation about the economic performance of the outgoing fiscal year 2016-17.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in a meeting last Wednesday in Islamabad, reviewed the progress of preparations for the upcoming budget for the year 2017-18. The Finance secretary informed the minister about the priorities and concerns of the budget. The finance ministry has already issued Indicative Budget Ceilings, explaining budgetary allocations, to all ministries and divisions of state. The process of preparation of budgetary estimates has been timely and at an advanced stage, the minister was told.
The minister was further informed about the meetings regarding budgetary preparations that have been held so far with the stakeholders, including businesspersons, policymakers, members of chambers of commerce and industries besides economists and experts. The minister said that feedback and proposals provided by different stakeholders must be given due consideration in drafting the final budget document.
The minster underscored that all budgetary matters should be comprehensively covered in accordance with the schedule and deadlines approved by relevant authorities. He emphasized that closer coordination between Finance Ministry and other ministries was imperative to carry out the budget exercise in an inclusive way. Dar emphasized that budget would reflect the government’s commitment for sustainable and balanced economic growth.