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NEC Approves Rs 1500 Billion Development Budget for FY 2024-25

ISLAMABAD: The National Economic Council (NEC) has approved a development budget of Rs 1500 billion for the next fiscal year 2024-25. The budget includes Rs 1400 billion from the federal budget and an additional Rs 100 billion from the Public Private Partnership share.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif chaired the NEC meeting, which also endorsed a 5-year economic plan. For the next financial year, a growth rate target of 3.6 percent has been set, with an aim to increase it to 6 percent by 2029. The average economic growth target over the next five years is set at 5.1 percent.

According to the budget document, specific growth targets for various sectors have been outlined: 2 percent for agriculture, 4.4 percent for industry, and 4.1 percent for services. Additionally, the export target for the next fiscal year has been set at $40.5 billion, while the import target is set at $68.1 billion. Remittances from overseas Pakistani workers are expected to reach $30.2 billion, and the current account deficit target has been set at 3.7 percent.

The federal budget for 2024-25, originally scheduled to be presented on June 10, is now likely to be presented on June 12. The Pakistan Economic Survey 2023-24 will be unveiled on June 11, following a council meeting on June 10.

The federal budget is expected to receive Senate approval by June 26. To meet the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Pakistani government is likely to end tax exemptions in the upcoming fiscal year. The budget proposals for 2024-25 suggest a phase-wise removal of exemptions on sales and income tax. The government is also considering imposing a sales tax on tractors and pesticides, which could lead to price increases for these essential agricultural products.

This comprehensive budget plan reflects the government’s commitment to sustainable economic growth, balancing development needs with fiscal responsibility. The planned tax reforms and expenditure allocations aim to bolster economic stability and drive progress in key sectors.

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