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Finance minister asks Punjab, KP to focus on growth-oriented budget

Business

May 5, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Tuesday urged the provincial governments of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to rationalise expenditures and harmonize taxation policies for a growth-oriented budgets.

The finance minister held meetings with the Provincial Finance Ministers as a part of an overall consultative process with key stakeholders including provinces to seek valuable inputs for formulation of a people friendly growth-oriented budget.

The provincial finance minister from KP briefed the finance minister about efforts undertaken by the provincial government to curtail expenditure and rationalize

spending with a key focus on providing maximum relief to the masses amid covid-19 pandemic. he also outlined measures taken to enhance provincial tax collection by expanding tax base and reducing the number of taxes.

The provincial finance minister KP further apprised about commitment of the KP government to streamline pay and pension expenditure which takes the biggest chunk of the overall budget.

In his remarks, Tarin urged the provincial administration to adhere to strict financial discipline and work out modalities to rationalize expenditure and divert savings towards socio-economic development in the province particularly amid COVID-19 and in post COVID-scenario. He stressed to stimulate economic activity through out-of-box thinking for enhancing revenues, rationalizing workforce and harmonizing tax structure aiming at improving service delivery in the province.

While discussing budget proposals, the federal finance minister said education and health are the key priority areas and must be given preference during the budget making exercise.

He encouraged consultative process between the federal government and federating units for effective resource mobilisation.

Later, Finance Minister for Punjab Hashim Jawan Bakht also called on the federal minister for finance and revenue.

The provincial finance minister briefed the federal finance minister about the overall fiscal position and upcoming budget considerations during the meeting. He highlighted the steps taken by the Punjab government to provide maximum relief to the vulnerable segments of the society during these testing times.

He spelled out the vision and commitment of the Punjab Government to increase revenues, control expenditure, job creation, reduction of poverty and facilitating agriculture, Industrial and service sectors to tap true potential of these sectors for an export-led growth.

In his remarks, the finance minister emphasized the need for value-addition in budget making exercise.