The government is planning to present the federal Annual budget 2023-24 in the National Assembly by June 9 or 10.
The sources with in Finance Ministry said that the government would be holding key meetings in order to finalize budget, starting with the Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) in mid-May. It will prepare the outline of the development budget.
They added said that the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) — under the chair of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — regarding the federal budget will be held in the first week of June.
It is to be pertinent that preparing the budget efforts will be made to meet the conditions set by the International lender (IMF).
Budget has been under discussion since last few days since and opposition (PTI) raised concern regarding what kind of budget will be presented by the Pakistan Democratic Movement if the National Assembly is not dissolved early.
Earlier, PTI leader Hammad Azhar in a tweet said: “The budget for next fiscal year must be devised sensibly and in consultation with the multilaterals.”
He wrote: “It is imperative that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stops playing games with the economy. He has already inflicted massive damage. The budget for next fiscal year must be devised sensibly and in consultation with the multilaterals.”
The tweet showed that the PTI, which is expecting to form its government after the next general elections, wants the next budget to be strictly in line with the recommendations of IMF.
Remember that Pakistan has less than a month’s worth of foreign exchange reserves and is awaiting a bailout package of $1.1 billion from the IMF that has been delayed since November over issues related to fiscal policy adjustments.
The IMF has demanded Pakistani government get a written guarantee from the friendly countries for the deposit. After which Pakistan contacted Saudi and UAE govt in order to gave a guarantee.
Earlier Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claims that, UAE and Saudi Government agreed for a bilateral aid of one billion dollars to the IMF for Pakistan.
He said that the State Bank of Pakistan is now preparing the necessary documents for the said deposit from the Emirati authorities.
These commitments by friendly countries were one of the IMF’s last requirements before approving a staff-level pact to release a tranche of $1.1 billion, delayed for months, that is crucial for Pakistan to resolve an acute balance of payments crisis.
“Such tough conditions were set which weren’t easy for Pakistan to fulfil,” the premier said, adding that in the last one-and-a-half-month, the coalition government has made a lot of efforts.