ISLAMABAD - Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Planning and Development, on Tuesday briefed Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on the state of economy and the preparation for the forthcoming budget at the PM House.

The Prime Minister asked the Advisor to prepare the upcoming next budget, 2012-13, that should focus on provision of services to the common people (health, education, clean drinking water and civic amenities), sustained growth, giving top priority to job creation for the youth of Pakistan. The Prime Minister stated that it was heartening to note that the country’s economy had shown remarkable resilience in the face of global recession on both sides of the Atlantic, terrorism and unprecedented floods in the province of Sindh.

It was decided that the forthcoming budget must continue with the approach of preserving economic stability, checking inflation (which has now come down to single digit) and creating jobs while protecting the vulnerable groups through social safety net programmes.

The Advisor informed the PM that the revenues up to Feb 17 have showed an increase of 26 per cent over the same period last year.

 due to expansion of tax coverage, better enforcement and other administrative measures. The exports and remittances also remained strong in the first seven months of the fiscal year, the Advisor added.

The Prime Minister was also informed that releases for the Public Sector Development Programme have been according to the plans and the annual PSDP will achieve 100 per cent utilization of Rs 300 billion budgeted for the year. The government has also continued to remain fiscally prudent and the government expenditures have been in control.

The global challenges emerging in the world especially in the Euro Zone and their possible impact were also discussed.