ISLAMABAD -  The government has decided to announce budget for the next financial year 2017-2018 before the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, which would focus on enhancing GDP growth and generating job opportunities.

The government will present the budget in the federal cabinet during last week of May for approval. The budget will be presented in the National Assembly and Senate on the same day. Similarly, the meeting of National Economic Council will be held in the first week of May.

The government would share the indicative budget ceilings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the upcoming talks under article IV in Dubai from March 28. The government would also share the economic performance of the outgoing fiscal year 2016-17.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chaired a meeting on Wednesday to review the state of preparations for the upcoming budget. The Finance secretary briefed the minister about budget preparations. The minister was informed that following issuance of Indicative Budget Cielings to the ministries/divisions the process of preparation of budgetary estimates was at an advanced stage.

The minister was further informed about the meetings that have been undertaken till date with different stakeholders including business community, traders, representatives of chambers of commerce and industries besides economic experts and professionals. Dar was apprised that useful inputs have been received for the budget. The minister said that comments and proposals received from different stakeholders should be given due consideration in finalising the budget document.

Dar emphasized that all budget related activities should be undertaken in accordance with the agreed time line. He said closer coordination between the Ministry of Finance and other ministries/departments was imperative to carry out the budget exercise in a cohesive manner. He further said that budget would reflect the government’s resolve for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also attended the meeting.