ISLAMABAD - In a major decision, the PTI-led federal government has decided to revise the annual budget for the ongoing fiscal year what the government termed unrealistic.
The government disclosed it during a meeting of newly-formed Economic Advisory Council (EAC), which met under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting was attended by independent economists as well as heads of economic ministries and departments. The economists working abroad DID not participate in meeting through video link due to link down.
“The government has informed the Economic Advisory Council that it is going to revise the budget immediately, as it is unrealistic,” said a member of EAC wishing not to be named. He added that meeting remained in session for around one hour, as prime minister was scheduled to go to GHQ.
The previous PML-N government had presented the annual budget 2018-19 in late April, which was two months before the start of fiscal year. However, Finance Minister Asad Umar and caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar had termed the budget unrealistic. They said that previous PML-N government had prepared the budget for 2018-19 on the basis of unrealistic numbers. However, the PTI would have to seek parliament’s approval if it revises the budget.
Sources further informed that top economists of the country have proposed Prime Minister Imran Khan to take tough decisions to improve the deteriorating economic situation of the country. They have asked the government to improve the budget deficit, controlling current account deficit and focusing on social sector.
Sources informed that prime minister asked the EAC to help him in stabilisation of the economy. The economists gave their input regarding improving the economic situation. The prime minister also informed the EAC members regarding his austerity plan and vision of state of Madinah. He assured the members that government would fully implement their recommendations for the economic stability of the country.
The EAC has decided to constitute working groups on controlling budget deficit, foreign loans, current account deficit, poverty and reforms in the Federal Board of Revenue. Finance Minister would constitute the working groups in consultations with the EAC members. Sources said that there were no talks on approaching International Monetary Fund (IMF) for bailout package.