ISLAMABAD - The federal cabinet yesterday approved the federal budget for the financial year 2023-24.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar briefed the cabinet, which met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair here, about the salient features of the budget.
Credible sources told The Nation that conflict arose between Pakistan People’s Party and PML-N on the issue of percentage of increase in the salaries of government employees.
The sources said the government had initially proposed 20 per cent increase, however, PPP wanted 40 per cent increase which the finance minister said would be a huge burden on the national treasury.
Finally, the finance minister agreed on 35 per cent for grade 1 to 16 employees and 30 per cent for grade 17 to 22 officers as ad hoc relief.
Addressing the cabinet meeting, the prime minister said the government is working with earnest devotion to bring political stability in order to put the economy on upward trajectory.
He regretted that a sustained effort has been made by some elements over the last one year or so to stoke political instability.
He said this have had a disastrous impact on the economy. He stressed that political stability is a must to put the economy in the right direction.
As regards the budget, the prime minister said that comprehensive consultations have been held with all the stakeholders on it.
He said that by focusing on the agriculture sector, we can yield positive results in the minimum time. He stressed for establishing agricultural value chain to enhance exports and bring prosperity in the lives of rural population. Similarly, he said, we have to focus on enhancing IT exports. The prime minister said the government is cognizant of the problems faced by the common man due to inflation. He said we have to take care of the salaried class as well as the pensioners so that they could meet their basic requirements. He said it is a matter of satisfaction that the country has managed to bring down the current account deficit to 3.3 billion dollars regardless of internal and external challenges. The PM was confident that since Pakistan has fulfilled all the conditions, the IMF board will approve the next tranche after completion of the ninth review this month.