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Budget for FY2019-20 to be unveiled on June 11: SAPM Awan

Budget for FY2019-20 to be unveiled on June 11: SAPM Awan

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan announced via a post-cabinet meeting press conference on Tuesday that the budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be announced on June 11.

She said that the budget strategy and policy document which is closely linked to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's vision was presented in today's cabinet meeting by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh and his team.

Awan said that the details of the budget and the suspense associated with its terms will be addressed by the finance adviser himself, but attempted to provide a "general layout" as a window to the terms of the budget.

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She said that the guiding principles of the budget set in light of Prime Minister Imran Khan's directives prioritised, first and foremost, the government's desire to steer the economy on to the path of stabilisation.

"Our focus will be the stabilisation of the economy, managing external deficit by decreasing imports, reduction of fiscal deficit through revenue mobilisation and expenditure control, setting the path for public debt reduction," she said.

The SAPM revealed that special focus was accorded throughout the meeting to "how the government can protect the vulnerable segment of society in the forthcoming budget".

She said that the discussion and debate revolved around reducing the impact of the budget on the common man as much as possible.

"The government's purpose in this budget is to create a platform for growth because job opportunities are linked to growth and only when growth increases will job opportunities grow," she said.

Awan said that the provincial governments played a central role in the development of the budget due to the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award which sees a major chunk of the budget go to the provinces and the space subsequently shrunk for the federal government within which to operate.

"Whilst laying [the foundations of] the budget all provincial governments were taken onboard and the challenges being faced on the economic front were incorporated and a way forward charted with the consensus of all parties involved."

She said that the way forward devised and put into action by the government's economic team has stabilised the value of the rupee and that uncertainty and "rumour factories" which had brought instability to the economy have been shut down.

"Positive indicators have begun to emerge. The stock exchange has contributed and behaved positively and ultimately is making new records."

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