The Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presented a federal budget 2014-15 with a total outlay of Rs 3.945 trillion in the National Assembly today.
Following are the salient features of the budget 2014-15
-Total Budget outlay: Rs 3.945 billion.
-Provincial transfers: Rs 1.720 billion.
-Fiscal deficit, which was registered at 5.5% during Jul-Apr 2012-13, has been brought down to only 4.0% for the same period this year.
-Public Sector Development Program (PSDP): Rs 1.17 trillion has been allocated
-Pensions: An increase in pensions from Rs 5000 to Rs 6000
-Minimum Wage: The minimum wage for labourers rose to Rs11000 from Rs1000.
-Economic Growth has been projected at 4.14%, the highest growth in the last six years.
-Inflation Rate stands at 8.6% compared to 12.6% in previous regime
– Per Capita Income, which stood at US $1339 last year is projected to increase to $1386, showing a growth of 3.5%.
– Industrial Sector, which grew by a meager 1.37% during Jul-Feb last year, has registered a growth of 5.84%.
–Inflation, which had averaged around 12% in the five years before our government, was recorded at 8.6% for Jul-May 2013-14.
-FBR revenues, which had registered one of the poorest performances of in the recent past of 3% growth in 2012-13, are up by 16.4%, rising from Rs.1,679 billion to Rs.1,955 billion in the first 11 months of the current year.
–Exports were recorded at $21billion during Jul-Apr 2013-14 compared to $20.1billion last year.
-Imports were recorded at $37.1 billion during Jul-Apr 2013-14 compared to $36.7 billion last year and showing a marginal growth of 1.2%. However, imports of machinery have increased by an impressive 11% an indication of investment activity.
–Remittances, which were recorded at $11.6 billion during Jul-Apr 2012-13, rose to $12.9 billion for the same period this year, showing an increase of 11.5%.
–Foreign Exchange Reserves, which had declined to a precarious level when in June 2013 SBP they stood at $6 billion, of which $2 billion were due to a swap that was payable in August.
-Karachi Stock Exchange Index, which stood at 19,916 on 11 May 2013, the day the elections were held, has continuously scaled new heights and stood at 29,543 on 29 May 2014, showing an increase of 46%.
–Auction of Spectrum License:Anothernotable achievement of our government is the successful auction of radio spectrum license of 3G and 4G.
-Reduction of fiscal deficit: Government aims to reduce the fiscal deficit still further from 5.8% of GDP to 4.9% of GDP.
–Creating New Jobs: A detailed study on the impact of 3G-4G technology on employment has estimated some 900,000 jobs will be created in the next four years.
–Protecting the Poor: Benazir Income Support Program allocation increased to Rs 118 billion. Monthly stipend under the program will now be Rs 1500 per month.
-Prime Minister’s ICT Scholarship Program: Rs.125 million have been allocated out of National ICT R&D Fund to provide 500 scholarships in a transparent manner.
-Water: Rs.42 billion allocated for projects in various parts of the country.
-Power: Rs.205 billion allocated for this vital sector, except US $ 700 million IMF grant for different power projects.
-Railways: Rs.77 billion for 45 development schemes and pay & pensions of railway employees.
-Human Development: An allocation of Rs.20 billion for 188 projects of the Higher Education Commission.
-Agriculture: National Food Security Council has been established. The council will be responsible for ensuring policy coordination across provinces and relating to productivity improvements, market reforms, value addition and prices that ensure stable incomes for farmers.
-Housing: Three initiatves taken for housing sector, they are: Low Cost Housing Guarantee Scheme, Mortgage Refinance Company, Revival and Restructuring of HBFC:House Building Finance Company Limited and PM Low Cost Housing Scheme
-Pakistan Development Funds: Rs.157 billion have been allocated for PDF. –dawn