The newly appointed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presented the sixth budget of the PML’s (N) government, which is also the last one of its term; with the total outlay being Rs 5.932 trillion for the financial year 2018-19.
This size is 16.2% higher than the size of budget estimates 2017-18.
The budget speech is the performance report of the PML(N) in the last five years rather than what has been achieved and missed out in the closing financial year. The speech includes undue praise of Mian Nawaz Sharif and his former cabinet.
“Let me remind this House that during the five years preceding 2013, average inflation was 12% and average GDP growth was 2.8%. Even worse, the country was in grip of a protracted energy crisis. There was 12-18 hours of electricity load shedding in urban and rural areas. Our country was facing large scale industrial shutdowns and labour layoffs,” Miftah Ismail said.
“Domestically, terrorism was widespread, and people were not feeling safe in their houses. Corruption and bad governance was common. Doom and gloom was pervasive, and nation’s morale was at the lowest,” he added.
“The PML(N) came into power in 2013 and immediately embarked upon a home-grown agenda. Economy, energy and good governance were the core elements of that agenda. Under the leadership of Mian Nawaz Sharif we took on the challenges head on. For five years we worked long and hard, took painful decisions and never allowed our personal interests to be our preference,” the Finance Minister said.
Salient Features of the Budget FY 2018-19
Public Sector Development Programme
The size of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2018-19 is set at Rs. 1.650 trillion. No to surprise, bank borrowing has been estimated at Rs 1.015 trillion to meet these expenditures, which is significantly higher than the closing financial year 2017-18.
Out of the total PSDP, Rs. 850 billion has been allocated to provinces.
Federal PSDP has been estimated at Rs 800 billion, which will be divided below:
- Rs. 420.6 billion (a controversial number) for Federal Ministries/Divisions,
- Rs. 246.1 billion for Corporations,
- Rs. 8.5 billion for Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA),
- Rs. 5 billion for Special Provision for Competition of CPEC Projects,
- Rs. 10 billion for FATA 10 year Plan,
- Rs. 45 billion for Relief and Rehabilitation of IDPs,
- Rs. 45 billion for Security Enhancement,
- Rs. 10 billion for Prime Minister’s Youth Programme,
- Rs. 5 billion for Gas Infrastructure Development Cess,
- Rs. 5 billion for Pakistan Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The total budget for defense affairs and services has set at Rs. 1.1003 trillion which is 19 percent higher than the allocation of the closing year’s budget and Rs. 101 billion higher than the revised budget of the current financial year.
Education Affairs and Services
Education Affairs and Services have been provided with Rs 97.420 billion in the budget estimates 2018-19 as compared with Rs 90.516 billion in budget estimates 2017-18 and Rs 90.818 billion in revised estimates 2017-18, showing a mere increase of Rs. 6.6 billion or 7.2 percent year-on-year.
Health Affairs and Services
Under the head of Health Affairs and Services, a total allocation of Rs 13.897 billion has been made in the budget estimates 2018-19, which is higher by 8.2% and 7.4% when compared with budget and revised estimates 2017-18.
Public Order and Safety Affairs
Under the head of Public Order and Safety Affairs, an amount of Rs 132.289 billion has been provided in the budget 2018-19 as compared with Rs. 109.604 billion in the budget estimates 2017-18 and Rs. 119.417 billion in revised estimates of the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18. The allocation for Police (Rs 122.974 billion) forms the major component, with a share of 93%, in the total allocation under this head.
Government Revenues Estimates Through Tax Income
The gross revenue receipts in budget 2018-19 are estimated at Rs 5.660 trillion showing an increase of 6.6% over the budget estimates 2017-18 and 13.4% over revised estimates of outgoing fiscal year 2017-18.
The provincial share in taxes for 2018-19 is estimated at Rs. 2.59 trillion, which is 11.8% higher than the revised estimates of 2017-18. After the share of Provinces in gross revenues is transferred, the net revenue of Federal Government has been estimated to be Rs. 3.070 trillion for fiscal year 2018-19.
The tax revenue for 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 4.88 trillion, which reflects an increase of 17.9% over revised estimates 2017-18. Out of which FBR collection is Rs 4.435 trillion. Non-tax revenue is projected at Rs 771.860 billion in 2018-19 as compared with Rs 845.182 billion in revised estimates 2017-18.
Major Heads of Expenses
The main components of current expenditure are mark-up on government borrowing, defense, running of civil government, pension, grants and subsidies. Estimates for total current expenditure in the budget for fiscal year 2017-18 stood at Rs 3.763 trillion, which have now been revised upwards to Rs 4.298 trillion.
For fiscal year 2018-19 an allocation of Rs 4.780 trillion has been made for current expenditure, showing an increase of 27% and 11.2% over the budget and revised estimates respectively of the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18.