Pakistan to present 'mini-budget' today amid balance of payments squeeze

Economy will see enduring stability upon completion of PTI’s tenure, vows Asad Umar

Economy will see enduring stability upon completion of PTI’s tenure, vows Asad Umar

The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved the economic reforms package and recommendations for mini-budget which will likely be revealed today in the National Assembly session, sources said.

Pakistan's finance minister on Wednesday announced a range of measures to narrow fiscal and trade deficits ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan's expected move to present the government's case to the International Monetary Fund for a loan to rebuild confidence in the country's economy, the Financial Times reported.

The due focus is also on enhancing ease of doing business, simplifying procedures for setting up businesses and undertaking investment.

He said that the government wanted to tax filing and therefore, it was going to abolish the withholding tax for filers on banking transactions. The minister is also expected to suggest reforms to increase exports of the country. "2019 is the year of accomplishment of actual targets", he said in a tweet. Finance minister also said that the government was reducing tax on small marriage halls from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 5000.

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"The mini-budget we will take measures to lower consumption and increase investment", Umar had added.

Small businessmen will be submitting withholding tax returns only twice every year, they are exempted from submitting withholding tax returns every month. Now we are giving our economic vision.

"This is not a budget, this is a corrective package aimed at addressing various sectors of the economy", the finance minister clarified at the start of his speech. He further said that the previous government had left the country in the deficit of somewhere between Rs. 2500bn to Rs. 3000bn.

"We need to bring a balance in revenue and expenditure as it is vital for growth", Umar said. "Foreign investment can not be attracted until savings of the country are uplifted", he said.

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