ISLAMABAD: The federal government has announced the budget for the fiscal year 2011-12 with an outlay of Rs 2.767 trillion.
Finance minister Hafeez Shaikh presented the budget amidst sloganeering from the opposition benches.
Salient features of the budget:
- The 2011/12 budget outlay is 2.767 trillion rupees ($32 billion), up 14.2 percent from the 2010/11 fiscal year, even though he had earlier quoted the outlay at 2.504 trillion rupees in the budget speech.
- The budget targets a fiscal deficit of 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2011/12.
- GDP growth is targeted at 4.2 percent.
- Aim to contain inflation at 12 percent.
- Reduction of the general sales tax (GST) to 16 percent from 17 percent.
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Federal excise duty on soft drinks has been reduced to 6%.
More than 71,000 people have been issued tax notices, the government is expected to collect Rs 3 billion during the first stage.
The government has allocated Rs 32.5 billion for WAPDA.
The finance minister ended the speech with the following couplet:
Tundi-e-baad-e-mukhalif se na ghabraa aey dost
Ye to urti hay tujhe ooncha uraane ke liye
GST has been reduced from 17% to 16%.
All special excise duties have been abolished.
The government will bring 2.3 million people into the tax net.
The government has recommended that more than 390 regulatory duties be withdrawn.
The budget outlay for fiscal year 2011-12 is Rs 2.5 trillion.
Fiscal deficit will be 4% of the GDP.
Revenue collection is expected to be more than 9% of the GDP.
We will use Utility Stores to bring relief to the people.
PSDP will focus on completing existing programs and working on new program.
Rs 50billion has been allocated for transport sector
We have set aside Rs 28 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
The federal government has set aside Rs 40 billion for health and education, despite it these being provincial subjects.
Pension has been increased by 15%-20%.
Sheikh says he is hopeful the new fiscal year will lessen difficulties the country is facing.
The manufacturing sector has started picking up again.
We are facing challenges and we will have to deal with them.
Forex reserves are more than $17 billion.
We will try to maintain growth at 7% for a steady period.
Inflation will be brought down to single digits.
The speech is barely audible over the shouting of the opposition, who have shifted from chanting slogans to random shouting.
"We are with those who are giving their lives to the country," says the finance minister.
Sheikh congratulates the Prime Minister and opposition leader amid slogans from the opposition.
"Pakistan today is one where democracy has flourished," says Sheikh.
Members of the opposition continue to shout slogans against.
"Jhoot bolna band keroo"
"Load shedding band keroo"
The finance minister has started the budget presentation.
Opposition members are chanting slogans against the government.
"Amreeki ghulami naa manzoor"
Sources say Rs40 billion has been allocated for the National Highway Authority.
A raise of 15% has been approved for the salaries of government employees, sources have said.
The federal cabinet has approved the budget.
Opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar has rejected the budget stating
GST will likely be lowered from 17% to 16%.
Special excise duties are likely to be abolished.
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