Deficit-reducing measures bear fruit, estimated at 0.9% in 1st quarter

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):In order to contain fiscal deficit at manageable level, the government has taken a number of measures to reduce the expenses and boost revenue collection.
The government has been has been monitoring revenue collection and expenditure, officials sources said adding that owing to various revenue improvement measures, there had been 20% significant growth in the overall revenue collections by Federal Board of Revenue during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2017-18).
The expenditures during the first quarter of the current fiscal year also reduced by 2 per cent when compared to the expenditures of the same period of last year, hence resulted in declining deficit.
The sources said that for the year 2017-18, fiscal deficit target had been budgeted at 4.1% of GDP, adding that based on available fiscal data deficit for first quarter of current financial year is estimated at 0.9% of GDP as against 1.3% of GDP for the same period last year.
The sources said that efforts were being made to avoid un-budgeted expenditure while expenditure were being made in the light of flow of revenue and other receipts through implementation of ways and means procedure.
The government has also put a ban on creation of new posts and purchase of all type of vehicles, both for current as well as development expenditure except operational vehicles of law enforcing agencies, they added.
It is pertinent to mention here that due to the financial policies of the government, the deficit reduced from 8.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as inherited by the government 2013 to 5.8 percent during the fiscal year 2016-17 and efforts are on to maintain it at manageable level during the ongoing fiscal year, officials sources said.
The deficit of the fiscal year 2016-17 would have further gone down if the financial and other matters had remained as per routines, the source said adding that the provincial surplus balances during the year were less by 0.9% of GDP.
Tax revenue collection decreased by 0.5% of GDP while the project aid for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was up by 0.3% of GDP.