ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will unveil the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 on Friday (today) with a proposed outlay of Rs14.7 trillion.
With a higher consolidated budget deficit of over 6% of GDP. It will also dole out funds on different targeted schemes to lure voters in the next general elections.
Moreover, the government has set the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) tax collection target at Rs9.2 trillion, and a non-tax revenue target of Rs2.7 trillion.
For the non-tax revenue target, the government plans to secure powers by amending the finance bill to jack up the petroleum development levy (PDL) from Rs50 per litre to Rs55-60 per litre in order to collect Rs870 billion in the next budget against revised estimates of Rs550 billion for the outgoing fiscal year.
The lack of credibility of the budgetary numbers will continue haunting the economic managers because they will keep changing during the course of the financial year.
If the new government comes into power after the next general elections, it will have to introduce a mini-budget in order to align the economic realities with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for securing a fresh bailout package.
It is yet to be seen how Dar will make last-ditch efforts to satisfy the IMF on the revival of the stalled programme; the continuing stalemate might jeopardise the dwindling foreign exchange reserves, as the State Bank of Pakistan-held reserves decreased to below $3.9 billion.