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Govt will present unprecedented sixth budget next year: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that the current government will present the sixth federal budget next year which will be unprecedented in the history of Pakistan.

Addressing the post-budget press conference, the finance minister said that this is the best time reach consensus on the charter of economy for sustainability and achievement of socio-economic goals and macroeconomic stability.

Explaining the salient features of the Federal Budget 2017-18 passed on Friday, the minister the main focus of the new budget is on growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and improving living standard of the common man.

He said the government will have to work hard with unity to strength the economy of the country.  He said they will also present the next federal budget and no constitutional amendments are needed in this regard.

The Finance Minister said that work hard will is needed to sustain the 3.4pct growth in agriculture sector. He said that Rs1001 billion has been allocated for agriculture credit.

He said that two million small farmers with less than 12.5 acres lands will be given loan up to fifty thousand rupees at 9.9 pct interest rate.

He further said that relief has also been given to farmers and poultry farmers by decreasing sales tax which will also have a positive impact on agriculture.  He said the government will bear Rs13.8 billion loss for decrease of sale tax on DAP fertilizer.

The minister said that defence has been given preference in the budget and has been allocated Rs920 billion. He said Rs1001 billion have been allocated for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) which will reach Rs2100 after inclusion of the provincial PSDP.

He said the main targets are GDP at 6 percent and inflation 6 percent. He said the current expenditure will be kept below the inflation to reduce the budget deficit.

He said the actual tax in this budget is 87 billion rupees because the total tax is 120 billion and 33 billion is relief. He said safety net has been increased with 121 billion rupees. He reiterated that load shedding will be completely eradicated in 2018, and 10,000 MW power will be added in the national grid next year.

He said tax incentives have been given for agriculture and information technology.  He said that IT ministry will train one million freelancers to create new jobs for youth.

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