ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, will formally launch the Economic Survey 2016-17 on Thursday (today).

The minister will share the key economic indicators and the performance of different sectors of the economy with the media here at a press conference. The finance minister will also provide an overview of the economic progress made in recent years in Pakistan, official sources said.

He will highlight the main features of the comprehensive reforms agenda undertaken by the present government, which had resulted in macroeconomic stability and a ten-year high growth rate of 5.28 percent. The Finance Minister will present the budget for FY 2017-2018 on the floor of the National Assembly on Friday (May 26).

The salient features of the budget recommendations for fiscal year 2017-18. The major points of the upcoming budget to be presented on Friday are as follows:

  1. Total outlay: Rs4.778 trillion
  2. Development budget: Rs1,001 billion
  3. Defence budget: 940 billion
  4. Recommendation to allocate Rs1,401 billion for interest payments on loans
  5. Recommendation to increase FBR’s tax collection target by 15%
  6. Two recommendations to increase government employees’ salaries, (a): Proposal to merge old ad hoc salary after 10 % increase in salaries, (b): Proposal to increase running salaries by 10% after merging old ad hoc
  7. Proposal to allocate Rs230 billion for subsidies and grants
  8. Proposal to allocate Rs123 billion for Benazir Income Support Programme
  9. Proposal to allocate Rs90 billion for rehabilitation of homeless people and security arrangements
  10. Proposal for GDP growth in upcoming fiscal year: 6%
  11. Estimated inflation [CPI]: 6%
  12. 4.1% fiscal deficit
  13. Rs272 billion for development schemes for parliamentarians
  14. Current account deficit targeted at 2.6% of GDP

In his budget speech, the finance minister will provide details of the revenue, expenditure and relief measures envisaged for the next fiscal year.

The survey will cover the development of all the important sectors of the economy, including growth and investment, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, fiscal development, money and credit, capital markets, inflation, debt and liabilities.

The survey will also highlight the performance of agriculture, education, health and nutrition, besides showing the overall population, labour force and employment, poverty, transport and communication and per capita income.

It will also highlight issues of environment, contingent liabilities, tax expenditure as well as economic and social indicators.

The government would also launch the annual plan, highlighting government’s preparation and planning for the upcoming fiscal year in different sectors of national economy.

Meanwhile, the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on May 19, had already approved the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target at 6 percent for the financial year 2017-18 while the government achieved a GDP growth rate of 5.3 percent in the outgoing fiscal year.