Budget relief initiatives

Instead of the usual month of June, April is the month of presentation of the new federal budget for financial year 2018-19, last of the incumbent government. The new budget as such is going to be presented on April 27 though it is not yet officially announced who is going to have this honour in the absence of regular full-time Federal Finance Minister. Currently, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Finance Miftah Ismail is shouldering the main burden and talking about the upcoming federal budget relief measures and initiatives more than anyone else.
He has in an interview in a rather somewhat realistic manner said that the federal government this time is not going for populist budget, reduction in income tax rates will perhaps be the only relief for the people in upcoming budget, we will not be introducing mega projects in this budget and leave these for the next government, the opposition will be given briefing about the budget prior of its presentation to the National Assembly. We have managed to keep inflation around 3.9 per cent for first 8 months of the year and we will try utmost to keep budget deficit in the ratio of 5.2 to 5.3 per cent, he added.
About the great game changer China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Mr.Miftah said that nine Special Economic Zones are going to be constructed in different parts of the country one by one on a priority basis and reminded the critics that such huge investment under the CPEC umbrella quite obviously takes time to materialize but we are on line forward in this regard. The PM Finance Advisor in all fairness is a man of few words and lot of economic data which is quite realistic and appreciable for the important key post he is holding.
M Z RIFAT
Lahore

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