ISLAMABAD - After facing strong resistance from the opposition parties, the ministry of finance has asked the Prime Minister to decide whether the government should present the budget for entire year or for just four months.

The opposition parties have conveyed to the government that either it should not present the budget or get authorisation of only four-month budget from the parliament. They have threatened the government to boycott the budget proceedings if the government goes ahead with its plans of announcing the budget. The opposition parties have already showed concerns over the government’s move of introducing tax amnesty scheme through Presidential ordinance, by ignoring the parliament.

Feeling the heat of the situation, the ministry of finance has asked Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to take the decision whether the government should present budget for entire year or for just four months. “Prime Minister will take the final decision,” said Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail in a brief reply to The Nation.

Sources in ministry of finance informed that they are preparing budget for the entire fiscal year 2018-19. They further informed that government has convened the meetings of Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) and National Economic Council (NEC) in next week to finalise the development budget and macroeconomic framework for the next financial year.

They said that government has already announced that no new development scheme would be announced in the budget to get the public support ahead of general elections. “The government will not announce any new development project rather it will allocate funds for the ongoing development projects,” an official said and added that government would increase civil servants salaries while keeping in mind the inflationary trend. The government would not offer any special incentive to the civil servants to win their support, he informed.

The PML-N government had already decided to present record sixth budget of its tenure on April 27, a month ahead of schedule, keeping in view the upcoming general elections and holy month of Ramazan. The PML-N would be the first government in Pakistan’s history, which will present six budgets in five years tenure.

However, the opposition parties had recommended the government to announce four months arrangements and leave the budget for the next government, which will have the choice to present a new budget as according to their election manifesto. The PTI chief Imran Khan has already asked the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government not to present the budget for the next fiscal year. According to a news report, the KP government has decided that the caretaker government would authorise the expenditures for around four months in line with Section 126 of the Constitution.

The government wants the support of the opposition parties in National Assembly for passing the annual budget for the parliament. The opposition parties have already criticised the government for announcing tax amnesty scheme before the general elections. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has termed the tax amnesty scheme a pre-budget move by the incumbent government. Similarly, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has also criticised the government for presenting the tax amnesty scheme.