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Development allocations take a hit in Rs9.5tr FY23 budget

Federal PSDP budgeted at Rs727 billion, down 19pc over last year; provincial PSDP allocations also 16pc less.

Staff Reporter

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presented the budget for fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23) in the National Assembly on Friday.

This year the budget session was less chaotic than the last few presentations during the PTI-led government as there was no opposition present in the House since PTI members had tendered their resignations.

Ismail began his speech by bashing the previous PTI government, saying its policies had hurt the economy and damaged the lives of the country’s masses.

“An inexperienced team brought the country to the brink. Different people presented the budget every year presenting different policies which hurt investor sentiment,” the finance minister said, adding that his government had begun repairing the economy by taking the tough decisions that were the need of the hour.

Shortly after the budget was presented in the lower house of parliament, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took to Twitter to assure the public that the government was prepared to take tough decisions in an effort to rectify “years of economic mismanagement”.

“These are difficult times brought upon us by recent years of economic mismanagement. Through this budget, my government will steer our way out of these challenges by taking tough decisions while minimising [the] impact on vulnerable segments of [the] population,” he said.

Key budgetary proposals

  • No tax on salaries of up to Rs100,000 per month
  • Minimum tax bracket for small business persons to be raised from Rs0.4 million to Rs0.6m
  • 15pc increase in salaries of government employees
  • Sales tax exemption on import of solar panels and distribution
  • Advance withholding tax will be collected from those sending remittances abroad via credit, debit and pre-paid cards
  • Advance tax will be increased on cars above 1,600cc
  • Exemption of complete custom duty on pharmaceutical ingredients
  • Rs51bn proposed for education projects
  • Rs24bn for health sector

Budget outlay

The budget outlay this year is Rs9,502 billion, almost a trillion rupees higher than last year’s outlay.

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