ISLAMABAD – The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday presented its second budget with a total outlay of Rs 3.945 trillion for the fiscal year 2014-15.
Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Senator Ishaq Dar read out the budget proposals at the special session of the National Assembly attended by the prime minister and presided over by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. The minister proposed to raise the salaries of government employees by 10 per cent and the minimum monthly wage to Rs 11,000 from Rs 10,000. The minimum pension is being raised from Rs 5000 to Rs 6000.
Under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the poor will now receive Rs 1500 per month, Rs 300 more compared to previous fiscal. Now 5.3 million families will be supported instead of 4.1 million. The development budget is proposed to be fixed at Rs 525 billion. The number of customs slabs is being reduced from eight to six. The maximum customs duty is being reduced from 30 to 25 per cent.
For Diamer Bhasha Dam, Rs10 billion had been allocated for the acquisition of land while Rs15 billion are being earmarked for the next fiscal. Funds for other dams in different provinces are also being allocated. The government is allocating Rs205 billion for investment in various power projects to overcome the energy crises on priority basis. Privatization of the state owned organizations will be undertaken and the proceeds will be spent for the development of the people.
Sindh will get Rs 464billion under National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs283 billion and Balochistan Rs160 billion. In the next five years, 500 new locomotives will be purchased while arrangements are being made to obtain 1500 new rail cars to facilitate the passengers. Rs 77 billion are being allocated for 45 several schemes for Railways and salaries and pension of its employees.
For higher education Rs 63 billion have been allocated which is 10 per cent higher than the previous year. Through the auction of 3G and 4G technologies as many as 900,000 people will get employment opportunities. Work on Karachi-Hyderabad motorway project will soon be started. The foreign exchange reserves of the country will soon be raised to 22 billion dollars.
Revenue collection is estimated at Rs3.943 trillion for FY 2014-15, 10 percent up compared to FY 2013-14. Expenditures Rs3.937 trillion, 2 percent up compared to previous fiscal. Current expenditures are estimated at Rs3.130 trillion. Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP)for 2014-15 is Rs525 billion. Fiscal Deficit will be kept to 4.9 percent in 2014-15.
The rate of inflation was brought down to 6.8 percent. Exports were raised to 21 bn dollars, registering a gain of 4.24 percent while the remittances rose to 129 million dollars. Rupee value against the dollar witnessed an unprecedented recovery and remains stable around Rs98-99, showing a rise of 11percent. Foreign exchange reserves have been increased to 13.5 bn dollar which are will be brought up to 15 billion dollars, hopefully, by this July. The launch of Euro bond received an encouraging response.