ISLAMABAD - The government on Thursday formally announced that budget for the next fiscal year 2019-20 would be presented in National Assembly on June 11.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired a meeting to review the budget framework for the year 2019-20. He gave direction to concerned wings of finance ministry to timely complete the budget process which will be presented in the National Assembly on June 11. The PTI-led government would present its first annual budget, as it had already announced two mini-budgets in last few months.

Earlier, former finance minister Asad Umar had announced that budget would be presented on May 24. The ministries and divisions were making preparations of the upcoming budget on May 24. However, the government then changed its plan for presenting the budget after bringing new economic team headed by Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. The government had also changed State Bank of Pakistan governor, Federal Board of Revenue chairman and secretary finance. The government wanted to give some time to its new economic team to formulate the budget, which resulted in delay to present the budget.

Sources said that government was mulling to bring massive taxation measures in the budget. They said that revenue generation measures as well as eliminating tax exemptions could be worth of Rs500 billion. He further said that government would also reduce soaring expenditures.

GDP growth rate for 2019-20 projected at 4pc

According to initial plan, the government would reduce expenditures by Rs80 billion to Rs100 billion in the next budget. Expenditures would be reduced through expenditure cut by eliminating subsidies and slashing down certain ministries and departments, he added.

The GDP growth rate for 2019-20 has been estimated at 4 percent (instead of provisional growth rate of 3.28pc this fiscal year), with a 3.7 percent growth contribution from agriculture and about 2 percent contribution from large-scale manufacturing. The next year’s fiscal deficit target is being set at about 6.2 percent of GDP compared to 7.3 percent of GDP estimated for the current year. The country’s total development plan has been estimated at Rs1.837 trillion including cumulative provincial annual development plans of Rs912bn.