- Says growth target of 3.5% set for FY 2023-24 easily achievable
- No intention to increase PDL rate
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar has once again categorically stated that Pakistan will not default, stressing that the Country has ensured payment of external liabilities in the past and will do so in future as well.
While addressing the Post-Budget 2023-24 news briefing in Islamabad on Saturday, he was confident that the European Countries will extend the GSP-Plus statues of Pakistan.
To a question, he made it clear that Pakistan has no plan go for rescheduling of Paris Club or multilateral debt. He once again said that we will make all the payments on time.
Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar addressed a Post Budget 2023-24 press conference in Islamabad. pic.twitter.com/7zSvPAe1Nu
— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinistryPak) June 10, 2023
Turning to the Federal Budget 2023-24, he said that it is not a traditional one as it focuses on growth to improve macroeconomic indicators and create job opportunities.
The finance minister said that the budget 2023-23 envisages several measures for the sectors of agriculture, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Information Technology to achieve the objective of economic growth.
The minister said that the growth target of 3.5% set for the next Fiscal Year 2023-24 is easily achievable.
Ishaq Dar said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects 3.5% while Bloomberg and Fitch both project it at 4% which means that we have set a modest and doable target.
The finance minister said that the government has taken the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) to the historic high of Rs 1,150 billion and the transparent implementation of the plan will help achieve the growth target set for the next fiscal year.
Talking about macroeconomic indicators, Ishaq Dar said that the inflation is projecting at 21%, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) revenue collection to GDP 8.7%, overall deficit 6.54%, primary balance 0.4%, and public debt to GDP 66.5%.
Senator Ishaq Dar said that the debt to GDP means a lot and a core indicator and we are pitching this figure at 66.5% while the GDP is expected at Rs 105.8 trillion.
The finance minister said that the government is preparing a scheme of concessional loans for agro-based SMEs and sufficient funds for this initiative have been allocated in the budget. He said that we also plan to establish a special zone for the IT sector.
Ishaq Dar said that no new taxation measures have been taken in the new budget.
The minister said that the government has no intention to increase the rate of Petroleum Development Levy (PDL). He also clarified that sales tax has not been levied on the packaged milk. He said the sales tax on import of edible oil has not been abolished. He said that the recent reduction in the prices of edible oil is the result of international trends.
The finance minister said that the government has allocated Rs 35 billion in the the Federal Budget 2023-24 for provision of targeted subsidy on essential items including ghee and flour through Utility Stores. He said that the budget of BISP has massively been enhanced to Rs 450 billion to support segments of society.
Ishaq Dar said that the Sharia Complaint products under the National Savings will be launched from next month.
The minister further said that two Committees are being constituted in the FBR to address anomalies if any in the budget. He said that these Committees will take effect from Monday.
The finance minister also assured that due consideration will be given to the recommendations of the Senate as well as the Standing Committees on Finance of the Parliament.