ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will present the federal budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 with an estimated outlay of Rs 4.8 trillion in the National Assembly today (Friday) afternoon.

The budget speech would start at 4 PM and all the major political forces including PTI would attend the session. However, PTI supremo Imran Khan would not attend today’s sitting of the National Assembly.

LIVE: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar unveils Rs4.778 trillion Budget 2017-18

Sources privy to the power corridors express that the government had decided to increase the salaries and pensions of government employees by 10 to 15 percent, but no official figure is available right now.

According to Dunya News, the allocation for defence in the upcoming budget will be Rs 945 billion, showing an increase of Rs 85 billion in the defence budget as compared to the 2016-17 budget.

It is being suggested that as much as Rs 320 billion will be allocated for electricity, agriculture and other sectors in terms of subsidies. For rehabilitation of homeless individuals and security arrangements,  Rs 90 billion would be reserved, according to sources.

The budget will lend further focus towards improvement in economic growth, maintaining fiscal discipline, reducing non-development expenditures and boosting exports besides providing relief to the masses and promoting investment for job creation.

Govt employees’ salaries, pensions likely to be raised by 15 per cent in budget 2017-18

The budget for the upcoming year is the fifth one presented by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz under the chair of premier Nawaz Sharif and so economic experts are expecting the government to provide relief to the masses.

Earlier, on Thursday the finance minister presented the Economic Survey Report for the outgoing year according to which the growth rate of the country was recorded at 5.3 percent.

“After almost 10 years, we have exceeded 5% GDP growth. In 2013, we were in the range of 3% growth, and within 4% in the next couple of years. This year, the Pakistani economy has grown by 5.28%, rounded off to 5.3% GDP growth,” said the finance minister.

Claiming that the country’s economy has surpassed $300 billion, the finance minister said growth rate for next fiscal year has been set above 6 per cent adding that the growth rate for agriculture sector was negative last year.