News Column

Budget to be announced on June 12 : Ishaq Dar

June 8, 2014

Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar has said budget will be announced on June 12 underlining such a budget has to be evolved that may steer the country out of morass of circular debt.

"Budget making preparations are continuing since the last several days. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accorded approval to present budget on June, 12. This budget will be presented before the cabinet and later it will be brought in National Assembly. Circular debt has surpassed Rs 500 billion and we have to work out such a budget that may extricate us from circular debt mess ", he said this while talking to media men here Saturday after assuming the charge of his office.

"We will bring such a budget which leads us to betterment. We had endeavored to bring about betterment during the first days of the previous government and we will pick up the thread from where we had left it", he remarked

He underlined " all have to play their due role so that coming generations may reap the benefit.

In our regime during 1999 the volume of loans stood at 3000 billion rupees which has now swelled to 14000 billions rupees. It is not an normal situation , he added.

"We are fully focusing on energy crisis and we will not disappoint the nation on this count", he announced.

To a question on IMF team visit to Pakistan, he said creditors always keep an eye on the post loans disbursement situation. "We have given our framework in this respect and we will go ahead within the parameters of fiscal discipline", he remarked. IMF delegation is coming here as per schedule and it is likely to arrive in Pakistan by 3rd weak of this month, he pointed out. "We had told them we would not discuss our loan matters with them while sitting at Dubai or Abu Dhabi and we will talk about the loans in our own country", he held.

Responding to a question he said foreign exchange reserves situation is before all of us and we have to make payments till December. Whosoever is debtor has to make payments and we will have to generate resources in this regard, he urged.

He went on to say currency notes were printed in the past but "we can not print dollars while loan has to be repaid in dollars. "We have devised a comprehensive program for this purpose and we will make it public at opportune time", he remarked.

Replying to another question he said it was matter of bad luck that target of tax recovery is set at Rs 2381 billion at the outset of financial year but it is slashed to Rs 2050 billion at the end of the year. "It is our endeavor this may not happen and we will set such target which we will meet. The problems stand compounded for want of resources.

As per directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif we will place our focus on austerity but we will have to augment our income and we will have to strike balance between our income and expenses. Rs 400 billion are allocated on account of development funds here and later they are curtailed to Rs 250 billion, he stated. Development funds are spent on non development projects, he hinted.

To another question he said National Economic Council (NEC) is a constitutional institution which comprises all the four chief ministers, one representative each of the chief ministers and other people. Prime Minister has determined members of the council. The notification in this connection will be issued from Aiwan-e-Sadr under the advice of prime minister. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already convened the meeting of the council on June, 10. "We will present an attractive program", he announced.

Dar said Prime Minister has issued directives in categorical term that corruption will not be tolerated in any way. We will chalk out all our programs in accordance with it, he added.

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Source: Daily Messenger (Pakistan)

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