Pakistan unveils Rs 7.13 trillion budget, defence gets around 1.3 trillion

Pakistan's Defence budget for 2020-21 is Rs 1.289 trillion which is almost 12 per cent higher than last year's, according to Samaa news

Prime News, International, (Islamabad), June 13:-Pakistan on Friday unveiled Pakistani Rs 7.14 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 with defence allocations amounting to around Rs 1.3 trillion, which is almost 12 per cent higher than last year, Samaa News reported.

According to Dawn, the budget was presented by Pakistan Industries Minister Hammad Azhar. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Shaikh referred to it as the “corona budget.”

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan also attended the budget presentation. “Our main aim was to revive the economy and stabilize and strengthen the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as we realise the vision and aspirations of our founding fathers,” Azhar said while presenting the budget

He said the total size of the budget or the total expenditure budget for the next year stood at Rs 7,136 billion — slightly higher than the budgeted figure for the previous year. The government has allocated Rs 70 billion for combating the coronavirus and other disasters and Rs 80 billion for special economic zones, according to Samma news.

Pakistan’s Defence budget for 2020-21 is Rs 1.289 trillion which is almost 12 per cent higher than last year’s, according to Samaa news. The fiscal deficit, he said, would be 7 per cent of the GDP and has been budgeted at Rs 3,195 billion for FY2021. Allocations for education have been budgeted at Rs 83.3 billion, up 7.9 percent from last year’s Rs 77.2 billion.

Azhar announced that there is no new tax in the 2020-21 budget. There will be no tax on coronavirus and cancer diagnosis kits and the import taxes on kids food supplement and diet food have been abolished too. The opposition has decried the budget announcement terming it an “anti-people” budget.

PML-N chief and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif termed the budget “anti-people”, saying that it would lead to increased inflation and unemployment. PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the PTI had presented a “disappointing, traditional” budget at a time when the country was facing historic challenges.

“This is not a budget but a prescription for destruction,” Shehbaz said in a statement. “Whatever signs of economic progress are left in the country, will be ended because of the current government’s budget. The PTI government first tried to hide its inefficiency first behind PML-N and then behind the coronavirus pandemic.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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