ISLAMABAD - The new government will present budget on June 12 for next fiscal year, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told the media on Saturday, saying they have prepared a comprehensive plan to repay loans, which has surged to 14 trillion rupees from three trillion in 1999, when Musharraf dislodged the previous PML-N government.

He said Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) led government would constitute National Economic Council (NEC) in next couple of days that would meet on June 10 to approve funding for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2013-2014 budget, which will be approved by the federal cabinet on June 12 before its presentation in the parliament the same day.

Dar said the surging loans are a huge burden on the national economy as the government is not only bound to pay back the loans but also pay interests according to the schedule. The government would definitely opt for a better mechanism to repay these loans, he said, adding that it was already engaged in devising a proper strategy in this regard.

The finance minister said foreign exchange reserves situation is “before all of us and we have to make some payments until December”. He further said that local currency notes were printed in the past but “we cannot print dollars”, the currency the loan has to be repaid in. “We have devised a comprehensive program for this purpose and we will make it public at appropriate time”, he remarked. He said the new budget will also focus on reducing circular debt which has surged to Rs 500 billion.

The federal minister said that the country also have to spend on its defence, infrastructure and other social sector programmes. Talking about the high rate of inflation, the minister said inflation was also one of the pressing issues but it could not be brought down overnight. To a question about loans from International Monetary Fund, the minister said that IMF team would visit Pakistan in third week of June to hold talks under Post Programme Monitoring discussions. Under that programme, the IMF reviews the capacity of loan repayment of a recipient country.

Talking about the revenue collection target of outgoing financial year, he said, “It is unfortunate that we cannot achieve the revise target, as it was slashed to Rs 2,050 billion from budgetary target of Rs 2,381 billion.” The finance minister said the government would fix ambitious targets for revenue collection for the next financial year, which will be achieved at all costs.

Dar said that the country is facing many challenges like terrorism, economy and power crises but the government is committed to resolve all problems. He moreover pledged that the PML-N government would eliminate corruption from the country. He said that government would take measures to provide relief to the people, besides giving a new boost to the revenue collection and generate new sources of income for the state in the budget. He said they would also work to improve wages and cultivate resources for the people. Despite the grave economic situation‚ all possible measures will be taken in the budget to provide relief to the common man and reduce the price hike, he added.