ISLAMABAD: The federal budget for the upcoming financial year (FY 2014-15) has been proposed at Rs 3,854 billion, which is Rs 243 billion higher than the revised size of Rs 3611 billion of the outgoing fiscal year, Daily Times has reliably learnt.
The PML-N government, in its second federal budget, plans to allocate Rs 1,347 billion for the payment of interest on loans, Rs 700 billion for defence, Rs 215 billion for pension, Rs 285 billion for federal service delivery schemes, Rs 229 billion for subsidy, Rs 35 billion for provincial grants, Rs 479 billion for other grants, Rs 85 billion for the Benazir Income Support Fund, Rs 525 billion for PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme), and Rs 1,703 billion allocations for provinces under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award in the federal budget for the next financial year.
Official sources, on the condition of anonymity, told this scribe that salaries and pensions of the employees of the federal government are likely to witness a raise of 10 to 15 percent, while 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension is expected in the federal budget of the next fiscal year. They said the total country’s loan with a raise of Rs 1,505 billion has been estimated to reach Rs 16,999 billion in the next financial year in comparison with Rs 15,494 billion in the ongoing fiscal year, 2013-14.
Sources privy to the development said that a joint meeting of the National Assembly and Senate Standing Committees on Finance was held last Tuesday (June 24) under the chairmanship of MNA Umar Ayub Khan and Senator Nasreen Jalil to discuss and review the budget proposals and overall economic conditions of the country. Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, Federal Finance Secretary Dr Waqqar Masud Khan, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Tariq Bajwa were in attendance in this joint sitting. FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa briefed the meeting about the budget proposals and the overall economic condition of the country. The meeting was informed about the payments of loans, they added.
The sources also said that the meeting was informed that Rs 1,151 was earmarked to pay the interest on loans for the ongoing fiscal year that ends on June 30. However, this amount was revised and raised to Rs 1,194 billion. After a revision in the payments on accounts of interest of the country’s loans has been proposed to set at Rs 1,347 billion with a raise of Rs 153 billion for the next fiscal year in the federal budget. They further said that the defence budget for the next fiscal year has been suggested at Rs 700 billion, which was earlier fixed at Rs 627 billion and later revised to Rs 636billion for the present financial year 2013-14.
Similarly, Rs 171 billion was allocated under the head pensions of federal employees but after a revision it had been set at Rs 186 billion. However, it has been proposed at Rs 215 billion for the next fiscal year. Likewise, the budget of the federal service delivery schemes was set at Rs 276 billion for the ongoing fiscal year, while Rs 285 billion allocation has been proposed for the federal budget 2014-15. Rs 270 billion was set for subsidy in FY 2013-14, while it has been increased by Rs 66 billion and now stands at Rs 336 billion, while Rs 229 billion is proposed to be set for next fiscal year. An official at the Finance Ministry, who wished not to be named, said that so far no amount has been proposed to clear the circular debt during the next financial year, 2014-15, which was earlier at Rs 169 billion in the ongoing financial year.
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