The federal government is considering raising the salaries and pensions by 10% on the recommendation of the Senate’s finance committee, Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, revealed while concluding the debate on the federal budget in the National Assembly.
In addition to the increase in the salaries and pensions, the Senate’s finance committee had adopted 40 amendments after the budget was presented on June 12.
Moreover, Hammad Azhar asserted that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will meet the tax collection target of Rs. 4.96 trillion for FY 2020-21.
The minister told the house that tax collection was increasing at a rate of 17% before the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan in comparison to the last year.
The tax collection in the last quarter is always the highest against the first three quarters of a financial year. FBR did not meet the revised tax target of Rs. 4.8 trillion in the last FY because the Coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected Pakistan’s economy.
Despite inheriting a debilitated economy, PTI led federal government has managed to stabilize Pakistan’s economy.
The current account deficit had decreased by 73%, trade deficit by 31%, and fiscal deficit by 3.8% during the first three quarters of last FY.
A testament to this achievement is the praise heaped by all international financial institutions over the economic performance of the incumbent government in the pre-COVID-19 outbreak period.
The world economy has slowed down and it will lose $12 trillion due to Coronavirus pandemic. Notwithstanding, the PTI-led government presented a tax-free budget. Not just this, the government increased the allocation for the health, education, and development sectors.
A total of Rs. 661 billion has been earmarked for the annual Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). Balochistan has been granted the biggest share in the PSDP followed by Sindh.
The government has also abolished 10 withholding taxes and customs duties on more than 1,600 tariff lines of different raw materials.
Moreover, Foreign Direct Investment has increased from $1 billion to $2 billion during the previous FY. The government also made refunds Rs. 250 billion to different businesses.
To deal with the Coronavirus outbreak, the government announced a stimulus package of $1.2 trillion.
Under this package, Rs. 75 billion were allocated for the purchase of PPEs for the frontline healthcare workers. The government also paid the electricity bills for small and medium enterprises for 3 months. More than 16 million people each received financial assistance of Rs. 12,000 following the Coronavirus lockdown, concluded Hammad Azhar.