Finance Minister Ishaq Dar says he believes in stretched targets by making sure all stakeholders gave their 100% to improve the economy adding that the six percent growth target set for the next fiscal year is both realistic and achievable. Winding up discussion on Budget 2017-18 in Senate on Thursday, he said the country saw 5.3 percent growth rate during the current fiscal year while the economy size has reached three hundred billion dollars. The Minister said the government is making utmost efforts to finalize the next NFC Award at the earliest. He, however, rejected the impression that presenting the budget without the new NFC is unconstitutional. He said there is no nexus between the NFC and the budget. He said a meeting with the provincial Chief Ministers will soon be held on the matter. He said the provincial governments will have to demonstrate magnanimity and open heartedness for giving share to Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA from the NFC. Ishaq Dar assured to fully accommodate the doable and practical recommendations given by the Upper House on the Finance Bill, 2017-18. He reminded that forty percent of their recommendations were incorporated in the budget of 2015-16 and eighty percent in the year 2016-17. This, he said, shows the flexibility on the part of the government.
Ishaq Dar said that revenue collection has increased by eighty percent over the last four years. He said it is because of the financial discipline that we have managed to allocate one trillion rupees for the development expenditures in which infrastructure and energy sectors have been given special emphasis. He said electricity generation has improved significantly and the government has envisaged projects keeping in view the future requirements of the country.The Minister said the political parties should bury petty differences and sit together to formulate a Charter of Economy.
Earlier, participating in the debate, Talha Mahmood said the private sector should be fully facilitated and encouraged in order to bolster exports and generate employment opportunities.