Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that the government would prioritise on job creation and developmental projects for the 2020-21 budget while reducing non-development expenditure.
A meeting chaired by PM Imran reviewed the proposed budget of the Federation, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) for the financial year 20-2021. The economic teams of both provincial chief ministers, Usman Buzdar and Mahmood Khan gave a briefing on their priorities regarding revenue, expenditures and the overall budget.
The premier said that the budget for the next financial year is being presented under extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic and that the first priority of the government is to promote sectors which are adversely affected by the deadly virus. He said in this regard it is important that the government create job opportunities, especially in areas that have been impacted more.
"Special attention should be paid to the development of industrial and agriculture sector and the projects under public-private partnership should be facilitated," the premier stated, adding that provincial governments should also focus on reducing unnecessary government expenditure just as the Centre is doing so.
During the meeting, the prime minister was also briefed on Special Economic Zones, budget priorities for agriculture development and strategies for implementing the government’s priorities, keeping in view the status of revenue generated, expenditure and ground realities of the budget for the next fiscal year.
The meeting was attended by various federal and provincial ministers including Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Information Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar and Minister of Planning Development Asad Umar.
PM's aide on Finance and Revenue Hafeez Sheikh, PM's aide on Textile and Investment Abdul Razzaq Dawood and other government representatives including Dr Ishrat Hussain, Zulfi Bukhari, Asim Saleem Bajwa also attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the KP government on Sunday outlined standard operating procedures for the KP Assembly budget sessions where all members are required to undergo coronavirus testing before attending the session.
With seating at appropriate distances in the guest galleries, it will be mandatory for all members of the Assembly to wear face masks and they will only be permitted to attend the meeting after their test results are declared negative.
The meeting will start at 2pm and will continue till 5pm. It will continue from June 19 to June 28, whereas, holidays will be observed on June 20 and 21.
All parliamentary leaders will be allowed to speak on the budget for 15 minutes and the remaining members for 5 minutes, whereas, unauthorised persons, guests and media will be banned from attending the meeting due to the highly contagious virus.
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