Pakistan presents Rs.2.482 tn budget for 2009-10 (Roundup)

June 13th, 2009 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, June 13 (IANS) The Pakistani government Saturday presented a Rs.2.482 trillion ($30.7 billion) defecit budget for fiscal 2009-10 that focuses on sustainable development, revival of industry and providing relief to the vulnerable and the millions of refugees who have been uprooted by the military’s anti-Taliban offensive in the country’s restive northwest.
Presenting the budget in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, Minister of State for Finance Hina Rabbani Khar said it aimed at stabilization with a human face and growth with equity.

This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a woman has presented the budget.

Khar said that while the revenue during the fiscal beginning July 1 was estimated at Rs.2.174 trillion, expenditure was estimated to be Rs.2.897 trillion.

The deficit of Rs. 722.5 billion - 4.9 percent of the GDP - would be met through external borrowings of Rs 264.9 billion and domestic borrowings of Rs. 457.6 billion.

According to Khar, GDP would grow 3.3 percent during fiscal 2009-10 on the back of 3.8 percent growth in agriculture, 1.8 percent growth in manufacturing and 3.9 percent growth in the services sector.

The budget hikes defence spending for fiscal 2009-10 to Rs.347 billion.

Of this, Rs.343 billion have been allocated for the armed forces, Rs.463 million for defence production and Rs.840 million for the defence division, Hina Rabbani Khar said.

Quoting from the budget documents, Online news agency said the defence budget was 15 percent higher as compared to the allocation for 2008-09 “due to the high inflation rate and keeping in view of current situation at country’s eastern and western borders”.

The budget has allocated Rs.646 billion for the public sector during fiscal 2009-10.

Of this, Rs.421 billion will be spent on federal government projects and Rs.200 billion by the provinces through their annual development programmes, while Rs.25 billion has been allocated for earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation.

A major initiative in the infrastructure sector will be to build small and large hydro power projects and dams to overcome the country’s energy crisis, Online news agency reported.

Toward this, the government has allocated about Rs.67.59 billion for the water and power sectors with special aim of build water reservoirs to overcome the energy crisis.

The budget envisages providing facilities to the private sector to invest by creating an enabling environment and promote a knowledge-based economy through the development of appropriate human and physical infrastructure.

During the fiscal year 2008-09, Pakistan’s main emphasis was to ensure economic stability after a period of policy inaction had seen deterioration in the country’s macroeconomic indicators.

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