Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Unveils Budget 2023-24

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar Friday presented budget 2023-24 in the National Assembly.

He started by recalling the economic progress made during the tenures of the previous governments and drew comparisons on policies made during the period.

Current Account & Trade Deficit

Dar said the current account deficit will be reduced from $17.5 billion to $4 billion. By halting luxury imports, the trade gap has been reduced by 26 percent, he added.


Dar stated that the country has averted default and that talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are underway. The government is working on fulfilling international lenders’ requests and hopes to reach a staff-level agreement very soon.

Information Technology

The government has proposed a generous 0.25 tax percentage for IT exports. The service will be available until June 30, 2026. The federal government has exempted freelancers from paying sales tax up to $24,000, which is a huge relief. In the current fiscal year, the government will train 50,000 IT experts, added the minister.

Agri: Relief for Farmers

The federal government has boosted the loan volume for farmers from Rs. 1,800 to Rs. 2,250 billion, Dar said in his speech.

He revealed Rs. 50 billion has been set out for the conversion of 50,000 tube wells to solar panels.

The government has eliminated all taxes and customs duties on seedlings, he added.

Dar further announced the removal of all customs and levies on combine harvesters. The finance minister also said in his budget speech that Rs. 10 billion would be set aside for loans to small farmers.


In a statement about the BISP program, he stated that the sum for the oppressed has been increased from Rs. 460 billion to Rs. 450 billion.

The government spent Rs. 26 billion on Utility Stores Corporation and also noted the accomplishments of cutting record POL prices in the recent month.

He stated that $12 billion in foreign loans were repaid on time to foreign lenders.

Women Empowerment and Entrepreneurship

The federal government has committed Rs. 5 billion for women entrepreneurs in terms of skill development.

In addition, Rs. 5 billion has been set aside by the government for the Prime Minister Youth Skills Program.

Dar said the government has extended the tax breaks available to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) until June 30, 2024.

Diamond Card for Expats

The government has eliminated the final 2 percent tax on the purchase of immovable property through foreign remittances.

Ishaq Dar said overseas Pakistanis will be granted the ‘Diamond Card,’ which will allow them to obtain one non-prohibited gun license, a free passport, priority access to Pakistani embassies and consulates, fast-track immigration, and large prizes through a lucky draw.

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