ISLAMABAD - Rejecting the opposition demand of presenting four months budget, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail on Monday made it loud and clear that government will present full-fledged budget for the next fiscal year.

Talking to media after attending a conference on ‘Pakistan a Paradise for Investment”, Miftah said government would present the budget for next fiscal year on April 27 this year as public had given the five years mandate to the PML-N not four-and-half years.

Earlier, the opposition parties Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had supported the government to present the budget for the year 2018-19. However, the opposition parties are now asking the government to present only four months budget. The government yesterday announced to present full year’s budget later this month.

“Prime Minister has especially directed to announce special package for the civil servants and retired pensioners in the upcoming budget for next financial year,” said Miftah Ismail. The government would provide more incentives to the civil servants in the budget as against the existing five percent inflation rate, he added. He said that government would also increase the defence budget as per requirements.

Earlier, addressing the conference, the adviser said that he was not satisfied with the economic progress in the country.

“The GDP of Pakistan should be above 10 percent,” he said and added that country’s economic growth remained above 4.5 percent on average during last five years, which was around 3 percent during five-year tenure of the PPP. The economic growth has provisionally been recorded at 5.8 percent during outgoing fiscal year, which is close to the target of 6 percent.”

Miftah said that government had recently devalued the currency by 10 percent in two phases. Pakistan’s exports had recorded growth of 24 percent during March 2018 due to rupee deprecation. He hoped that exports would show an increase of 20 percent in next three months. However, the imports grew by only 6 percent, which indicated that pressure on trade deficit was easing. The current account deficit, which remained a major problem for the government, was controlled due to measures taken by the government including devaluation of rupee.

The adviser said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had recently announced an economic reforms package in which the government had given relief to the salaried class by reducing the income tax rates. An employee earning Rs100,000 per month would be exempted from the income tax. "We raised the minimum threshold from Rs40,000 to 100,000."

He revealed that tax incentive would cost Rs90 billion to the national kitty for reducing income tax rates. However, the economic reforms package would help in broadening tax base of the country.

Talking about non-taxpayers, Dr Miftah said that government would tighten the noose against people who were not paying taxes. The government would take the help of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for identifying rich people and they were non-taxpayers.

“Through Nadra, we are connecting data of rich and will give their names to FBR to bring them into tax net," he said .The most fundamental reforms were taken in the real estate sector and according to the new policy, no non-filer will be able to purchase any real estate property, he added.

He further said that government had added around 10,000 megawatt electricity in the national grid during last five years. Talking about the economic performance, he disclosed that government had reduced the budget deficit to around 5.5 percent of the GDP from 8.2 percent of the GDP when incumbent government took charge. Similarly, the inflation had been brought down from over 11 percent to less than 4 percent.