National grid gets 10,000 MW in 2018; Rs 5.31 trl revenue collection estimated for 2017-18: Dar

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APP73-26 ISLAMABAD: May 26 - Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar making Budget speech at National Assembly. APP

ISLAMABAD, May 26 (APP): Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Friday announced that 10,000 MW electricity would be added
to the national grid by 2018 and total revenue of Rs 5.31
trillion would be collected in the next fiscal year.
Delivering budget speech in the National Assembly, the
finance minister said the targeted tax collection of Rs 4.013
trillion by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would made with
14 % increase as compared with the current financial year.
He said that during the last four years, the economy had
been put on a strong footing as the government was taking
measures to achieve the goal of economic stability.
He said the share of provincial governments in total income
would be Rs 2.384 trillion which is 12.4 per cent more than the
corresponding period and the share of the federal government would
be Rs 2.926 trillion.
Similarly, he said total expenditure was expected to be Rs
4.753 trillion, which was 11.7 per cent more than the previous
year. Maximum increase in that category had been made in the
development budget, he added.
He said there was a proposal to allocate Rs 920 billion for
defence as compared to the previous year’s Rs 841 billion. Moreover,
with 40 % increase in PSDP, the amount for development sector was
Rs 1.001 trillion against Rs 715 billion current year.
Dar said the budget deficit had decreased to 4.1 per cent of
the GDP against 4.2 per cent the last year.
He said it was an honour and prestige for him to present the
fifth budget of this government as “we achieved different milestones
during the last four years, including budget deficit, inflation,
foreign exchange reserves, tax collection, and GDP growth in
different sectors of the economy.”
The minister said fiscal deficit had been controlled,
load-shedding reduced, and GDP growth rate recorded at 5.3 per
cent, which was proposed to cross 6 per cent during the next
fiscal year.
Ishaq Dar said today Pakistan has foreign exchange
reserves worth imports of four months, as compared to reserves
worth imports of two weeks in 2013, while tax collection had
recorded 81% increase during the last four years.
He said most of international rating and financial
institutions have acknowledged Pakistan’s progress in the
economic sector and have predicted Pakistan to be part of
G-20 by 2030 in the wake of measures taken by the government.
“All this could be possible in the wake of the vision of
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and decisions by the PML-N government
that is being appreciated by the nation,” he added.
The minister said due to strict monetary discipline and
reforms in the country, Pakistan has been able to achieve these
goals and the government had been successful in meeting targets,
mentioned in its election manifesto.
He said this year GDP growth rate has been recorded at 5.28
percent as compared to 3.16 percent in 2013, and it will cross
six percent during the next fiscal as the volume of economy has
exceeded US$ 300 billion.
During the last year, agriculture sector recorded 3.46
percent growth, services sector – 5.98 percent growth while per
capita income at present is US$ 1629 as compared to US$ 1334 in
2013 showing an increase of 22 percent.

Ishaq Dar said the government under the guidance of Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif was committed to the welfare of the poor people
and had taken measures, which resulted in decrease in number
of those living below the poverty line. “In line with our previous
actions, the government will impart technical training to the poor
people under the BISP. This programme will benefit 250,000
families.”
He said an off-grid power system would be introduced to
provide solar power to the people in remote areas, especially
in Balochistan.
He said mark-up for agricultural loans for land owners having
less than 12.5 acre was being reduced to 9.9 per cent from around
15 per cent. Under the scheme, he said, two million loans of
Rs 50,000 each would be provided by ZTBL, National Bank of Pakistan
and other banks as the loans volume for agriculture was being
increased to Rs 1,001 billion from Rs 700 billion.
The minister said it had been decided to sell Urea fertilizer
available with NFML at the rate of Rs 1,000 per bag while GST on
DAP fertilizer was being reduced to Rs 100 instead of existing
Rs 400. Urea fertilizer price in the open market would be
Rs 1,400 as the government had proposed Rs 13.8 billion and
Rs 11.6 billion subsidy in terms of DAP and urea fertilizers
respectively.
Ishaq Dar said the banking system was being streamlined in
accordance with Record Management Information System, new seeds
would be provided to farmers and tariff subsidy to tube-wells would
continue, while the government would provide Rs 27 billion for the
purpose.
He said the production index unit for agricultural
land was being enhanced to Rs 5,000 from Rs 4,000, which
would enable farmers to get more loans for agriculture.
Explaining further measures for the agriculture sector,
the minister said customs duty and sales tax on new and five-year
old combined harvesters was being waived off, tax ratio on
import of machinery for the poultry business was being reduced to
7 per cent from existing 17 per cent, GST (general sales tax)
was being waived on imported sun-flower and canola seed, and
17 per cent sales tax on three to 36 horse power diesel engines
for tube-wells was also being waived off.
The proposed measures, he said, would encourage and compensate
farmers to contribute more vigorously in the stability of national
economy, besides enabling them to earn better living.
The minister said for the textile sector interest rate on long
term financing facility was being reduced to 5 per cent from
11.5 per cent, import of the textile machinery was being allowed
duty free and Technology Upgradation Fund was being introduced
while measures announced in the budget 2016-17 would also continue
during the next fiscal year.
He said the government would start Brand Development Fund
while the Textile Ministry would start for the first time in the
country an ‘online textile trade portal’ for promoting
‘business-to- business’ and ‘business-to-consumers’ culture.
He said the mark-up rate on the Export Refinance Facility
had been decreased to 3 per cent from previous 9.5 per cent
while zero duty was being proposed on raw hides and stamping foil
being used in producing high quality leather products.
In line to alleviate difficulties of the rice exporters, he
said, the government had decided to allow them warehousing of rice
and details of the scheme would be finalized by the Commerce
Ministry, State Bank and Rice Export Association.

Ishaq Dar said the FBR tax collections had shown 81% record
increase during last four years. Its present volume is Rs 3.521
trillion as compared to Rs 1.946 trillion of 2013. Interest rate has
been decreased to give incentives to agriculture and industrial
sectors.
He said agriculture loans had increased to Rs 600 billion as
compared to Rs 336 billion of 2013, while private sector loans
volume has grown to Rs 507 billion.
The minister said, remittances had recorded an increase of US$
19.9 billion while Pakistan Stock Exchange had surpassed 52,000
points and international rating institutions have ranked it as the
best economy in Asia and 5th emerging stock market across the world.
He said market capitalization has increased from previous US
$ 51 billion to US $ 97 billion while 5855 new companies had been
registered during the last nine months, while 24 important laws were
enacted and ten more are in the pipeline.
He said economic targets for next fiscal year included: Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) growth 6 per cent, investment to GDP 17 per
cent, Rs 1,001 billion Federal Development Expenditure, lowering
inflation rate below 6 per cent, budget deficit 4.1 per cent to GDP,
tax to GDP 13 per cent, keeping Net Public Debt to GDP 60 per cent,
foreign reserves equal to four months export and continuation of
social safety measures.
He said budget strategy has been devised to achieve the
said targets. The strategy included 14 % increase in revenue
of FBR while 11 % enhancement in federal expenditure, controlling
current expenditure.
New measures were being announced for agriculture, export,
textile and social sector in order to create more jobs
opportunities, he said.
These steps would not only expedite economic activities but
also help create new jobs opportunities besides bringing
improvement in income of people, he added.
The Minister said more tax incentives were being announced
for promotion of agriculture, SME and information technology
sectors.
He said around 10,000 MW additional electricity would be added
to the national grid system before next summer season which would
help end power crisis in the country.
He said a sum of Rs 121 billion has been proposed for
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) which was only Rs
40 billion in 2013 thus registering 300 per cent increase.
He said financial assistance to 5.5 million families would
continue and they would be given Rs 19,338 per family per
year. Financial assistance to some 1.3 million children of
primary schools would also be given, he added.
Dar said the government would continue subsidies on
electricity bills to the consumers using 300 units per month besides
subsidy to the farmers of Balochistan on tube wells consumers. The
government has allocated Rs 118 billion in the budget in this
regard, he added.
The minister said Rs 20 billion has been specified for
the Prime Minister’s Youth Schemes which include Business Loan
Scheme, Interest Free Loan, and Training Scheme, Skill Development
Programme, Free Reimbursement and Laptop Programme.