In a first, government revenues this month will cross Rs4trillion, said Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tareen.
While addressing a budget webinar he said the COVID-19 pandemic pushed Pakistan’s economic growth in negative but government’s effective policies have helped in achieving this milestone. “The government then introduced a fiscal stimulus by giving the poor money.”
A liquidity stimulus was given by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to both big and small businesses. “The prime minister did a great job by introducing the construction package,” Tareen further added.
“He [PM] realised that construction is one industry which doesn’t just bring in labour but also supports around 40 to 42 industries on its own.”
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When incentive was given to the construction industry, the economy started to stabilise and the current account deficit curtailed, the minister pointed out. Economic growth started recovering this year as exports, agriculture, services sector and housing started to pick up.
When this happened, revenues increased. “We have seen a 3.94 per cent increase in economic growth. It’s an inclusive and sustainable growth over a long period of time.”
Shedding light on the upcoming budget, the finance minister said the government will provide incentives for the agriculture sector, adding that those who pay taxes will not be burdened with additional ones.
He said the government will introduce a third-party audit and universal self-assessment system to ensure the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) does not harass citizens.
The Economic Advisory Council is working on how this can be achieved and we will have answers soon, the minister promised.