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Government likely to present federal budget on June 12

ISLAMABAD: It is anticipated that the presentation of the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 in Pakistan will be rescheduled due to political uncertainties related to the legal status of reserved seats and the absence of standing committees of the Senate and the National Assembly, particularly those related to finance. The budget strategy paper (BSP) for the next fiscal year has not been shared with parliament yet, adding to the unusual situation.

Originally scheduled to be presented on June 10, it is now anticipated to be presented on June 12. The presentation of the Pakistan Economic Survey 2023-24 will take place on June 11 after a council meeting on June 10. The federal budget for 2024-25 is expected to receive approval from the Senate by June 26.

The Pakistani government is likely to end tax exemptions in the upcoming budget at the demand of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This includes the potential end of exemptions on sales and income tax, phased over time.

The government is also contemplating imposing a sales tax on tractors and pesticides, which could result in price hikes for these essential agricultural products. Currently, pesticides and their active ingredients registered by the Department of Plant Protection are exempt from sales tax under the Sixth Schedule of the Sales Tax Act.

The budget proposals for the fiscal year 2024-25 highlight the government’s efforts to address economic challenges and align with IMF recommendations for swift reforms. The rescheduling of the budget presentation reflects the evolving economic landscape and the need for thorough evaluation and planning to ensure sustainable fiscal policies in Pakistan.

In addition to the proposed changes in tax exemptions and sales tax, the budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 is expected to focus on key areas such as infrastructure development, social welfare programs, and job creation. The government aims to prioritize sectors that will drive economic growth and improve the overall welfare of the population.

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