ISLAMABAD - Budget preparations are in full swing in the federal capital, as an important meeting of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) was held on Saturday, highlighting that Finance Ministry should engage with the representatives of provincial governments to discuss revenue mobilization efforts at provincial level where it is very low. 

A meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) was held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Saturday. The meeting discussed the budget preparations, wherein sub committees presented their reports regarding budget for upcoming financial year 2012-2013.  The sub-committees presented detailed analysis, which illustrated that EAC members had put in a lot of hard work.

EAC requested Deputy Chairman Planning Commission to present a strategy on tariff rationalization, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to present a strategic perspective on tax reforms, Chairman SECP to present a strategy for development of capital markets and Ijaz Nabi to give a strategic view of Indo-Pak trade in the next meeting. Meanwhile, it was decided that along all other sub-committees would present their more detailed proposals for the budget 2012-13 in the next meeting of the EAC after engagement with the key stakeholders.

Earlier, Economic Affairs Division gave a presentation on ‘Disbursement of Foreign Assistance 2011-12’. Operational budgetary proposals were presented by respective sub-committees of EAC in areas of industrial/agriculture sectors (including textile policy), capital markets and balance of payments. The sub-committees on Social Sector and Fiscal Coordination gave preliminary inputs with detailed presentation to be given in the next meeting of EAC.

Finance Minister assured all support to EAC for its future work. He highlighted the key achievements of the government despite the internal and external shocks to the economy, which includes targeted subsidies, a freeze on nominal expenditure, bold decisions to expand and mobilize domestic revenue. Finance Minister apprised the meeting that the budget theme will ensure that macroeconomic stability is preserved, operationalization of the growth strategy and to bring prosperity to the people of Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by Dr Hafiz A Pasha (Convener EAC), Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Ms Shahnaz Wazir Ali, members of EAC including Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Nasim Beg, Bashir Ali Mohommad, Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Dr Ijaz Nabi, Ali Habib, Ali Jameel, Arshad Zuberi, Farid Rehman and Shoaib Sultan Khan. Other government officials including Secretary Finance, Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Chairman FBR, Secretary Commerce, Secretary Planning Division, Secretary Board of Investment and other senior officials.