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Ahsan says national development outlay to be over Rs2,000b

Ahsan says national development outlay to be over Rs2,000b

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that the total national development outlay for the next financial year will be over Rs 2000 billion.

After the day-long meeting of Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC), he said that the government has fixed 6.2 percent growth target for 2018-19.

He said as the ministry of finance has proposed Rs 750 billion worth federal PSDP, APCC has proposed National Economic Council (NEC) to at least approve Rs 1000 billion worth PSDP as a huge cut in development budget will create problems.

According to the minister, the target of inflation during the fiscal year 2018-19 has also been fixed at 6 percent while the target of total investment against GDP has been set at 17.2 percent. Agricultural development target will be 3.8 percent, industrial development target is to be 7.6 percent.  The growth in the services sector is targeted to be 6.5 percent. A growth target of 3.8 percent has been fixed for the livestock sector.

The government has also fixed target of exports at $27.30 billion for the next financial year ending June 2019, while imports in the same year have been projected at $56.50 billion. The trade deficit is forecast to be $ 29.20 billion. The current account deficit is projected to be $ 12.50 billion which will be 3.8 percent of GDP.

The government has allocated Rs 61.50 billion for Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan for the next budget.

During the meeting of APCC, Ahsan Iqbal, unlike the budget proposed by Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, has allocated Rs 45 billion against Rs 35 billion proposed by HEC, saying that the country needed more funds to promote education and research activities. He said that the government has increased the budget for education by over 132 percent during the past four years.