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Finance Minister Aurangzeb Unveils Ambitious Budget for 2024-25

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb delivered the budget speech for the fiscal year 2024-25 on Wednesday at National Assembly outlining a comprehensive plan aimed at stabilising and boosting the economy through various reforms and initiatives.

Key Allocations and Reforms

In his address, the minister highlighted the government’s commitment to achieving sustainable growth and inclusivity. The budget for 2024-25 has been crafted with a focus on structural reforms, economic stability, and public welfare.

Tax and Revenue Measures

The budget aims to enhance revenue collection through broad-based and fair taxation. “A broad-based fair taxation regime will be implemented to ensure efficient revenue generation,” said the finance minister. The government is also committed to tackling tax evasion and improving the efficiency of the tax system.

Public Services and Social Welfare

The finance minister emphasized the importance of essential public services, allocating significant resources to health, education, and social protection. “Investments in human development, social protection, and climate resilience are key priorities,” he stated. 

Specific allocations include:

– **Health**: PKR 1,200 billion to enhance healthcare infrastructure and services.

– **Education**: PKR 1,000 billion to improve educational facilities and access.

– **Social Protection**: PKR 800 billion to support vulnerable populations.

Economic Reforms and Stability

The minister presented a detailed plan for macroeconomic and fiscal stabilisation, focusing on reducing the fiscal deficit and controlling inflation. “Our home-grown reform agenda is aimed at achieving macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth,” he declared. Key figures in this regard include:

– **Fiscal Deficit**: Targeted reduction to 4.5% of GDP.

– **Inflation**: Aiming to keep inflation within the range of 6-7%.

Investment and Regulatory Climate

The budget outlines measures to improve the regulatory and investment climate, encouraging private sector participation and fostering a market-driven economy. “We are moving from a government-determined economy to a market-driven economy,” the minister announced. 

Support for Business and Industry

Various incentives for businesses and industries have been introduced to stimulate economic activity and job creation. The government plans to address anti-export distortions and enhance the competitiveness of local industries. 

International Commitments and Programs

The finance minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to international financial obligations, including the IMF program. “We are fully committed to implementing the structural reforms agreed upon with the IMF,” he reiterated.

Home-Grown Reform Agenda

A significant portion of the speech was dedicated to the home-grown reform agenda, which includes measures for fiscal discipline, improved governance, and enhanced public service delivery. “Our home-grown reform agenda will lead to fiscal stabilization and improved public service delivery,” he noted.

Transparency and Governance

The minister stressed the importance of transparency and good governance, particularly in state-owned enterprises (SOEs). “We are committed to ensuring transparency and good governance in all sectors,” he emphasised. 

Fiscal Measures and Allocations

– **Development Budget**: PKR 2,500 billion for various development projects across the country.

– **Defence**: PKR 1,400 billion allocated for defense expenditures.

– **Agriculture**: PKR 600 billion to boost agricultural productivity and support farmers.

– **Infrastructure**: PKR 1,500 billion for infrastructure development, including roads, bridges, and public transport systems.

“Mr. Speaker, our budget for the year 2024-25 is a testament to our commitment to fiscal discipline and economic growth,” the finance minister said at the beginning of his address.

He further added, “Mr. Speaker, we have allocated significant resources to ensure that essential public services such as health and education are prioritized for the well-being of our citizens.”

In addressing the challenges, he stated, “Mr. Speaker, our economy has faced numerous challenges, but with our home-grown reform agenda, we are poised to achieve sustainable growth and stability.”

The finance minister expressed optimism about the country’s economic future. “With the implementation of these reforms, we are confident that Pakistan will achieve sustainable and inclusive growth,” he stated. 

The budget speech for 2024-25 reflects a comprehensive approach to addressing the country’s economic challenges while laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity and stability.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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