Govt’s main focus on economic growth, jobs creation: Dar
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad the finance minister said that the government giving attention to agriculture as Pakistan is an agro-based country.
He said the government also working for the poverty alleviation and improving lot of the common man.
He pointed out that the agriculture sector has posted negative growth this year due to which incentives were announced by the Prime Minister, a few months back, which would continue next year.
He said the new budgetary measures would give necessary boost to agriculture sector. These include significant reduction in prices of fertilizers. He said prices of fertilizer were brought down by 250 rupee a bag during the last few months and now it is further reduced by 400 rupee a bag. He said prices of DAP have also been reduced by three hundred rupee a bag with effect from the next month.
Dar said that seven percent duty on pesticides has been withdrawn while off-peak rate of electricity for agricultural tube wells has been lowered from 8.85 rupee per unit to 5.35 rupee.
He said with a view to give further boost to industrial growth, the government has subjected import of machinery and raw material to 3% duty.
He said that every effort has been made in the budget not to put additional burden of taxes on filers. He acknowledged that taxes on some of the items would affect people. About increase in tax on mobile phone sets, he said costlier phones were mis-declared as low category phones and taxes have been enhanced to compensate for this leakage. He said the export industries have been exempted from sales tax.
Referring to 1675 billion rupee overall development programme, he said this would further stimulate economy and create jobs.
He said said the government striving to keep inflation to single digit and alleviate poverty. He said the federal government employees would get 10% adhoc relief after merger of two previous adhoc reliefs and as a result, they would get about 13 to 13.5% increase in their salaries.
He said the government would be bearing expenditure of 57 billion rupees on account of increase in salaries and pension.
To a question, Dar said the government according priority to the construction of western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as per understanding with political leadership.