Jun 12

Federal Budget 2013-2014 Live Update

pakistan budget 2013-14ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presented the federal budget for the year 2013-2014 in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Express News reported.

The first litmus test of the newly sworn-in government began when Dar presented a Rs3.5 trillion federal budget in a bid to revive the country’s ailing economy. Designed to target an estimated growth rate of 4.4% over the next fiscal year, the budget would seek to reduce non-development expenditures and fix a burgeoning energy crisis that has been costing the country 2% of gross domestic product annually.

Finance minister Ishaq Dar told the national assembly that the government would clear $5 billion in circular debt from the energy sector within the next 60 days.

“This will greatly help minimise power cuts in the country,” Dar said, giving no details on how the government would find the money to pay the bills.

Years of mismanagement, under-investment and corruption cause blackouts of up to 20 hours a day in blistering summer heat, when temperatures reach up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).

Pakistan is still paying off a $11.3 billion International Monetary Fund loan from 2008.

A 10% increase in defence spending was also announced, despite the country facing a crippling budget deficit of 8.8 percent.

The new budget earmarked 627 billion rupees ($6.3 billion) for defence, a 10 percent increase compared to 570 billion rupees in the outgoing year, ending June 30.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office last week after winning the May 11 elections, which marked an historic transition of democratic power in a country ruled half its life by the military.

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6:52pm

We have inherited a weak economy. Its recovery is our topmost priority, says Dar.

Our government won’t run away from obstacles.

We have embarked on a way that is filled with challenges but this is the only way we can assure prosperity and progress in the country, says Dar.

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6:50pm

Pension will see an increase of 10%, says Dar.

Minimum pension amount has been increased from Rs3000 to Rs5000.

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6:49pm

Restrictions will be placed on the purchase of new cars.

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6:47pm

The new government will have less than 40 ministries, says Dar.

No vehicle can be imported without paying the duty tax.

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6:44pm

All organisations and autonomous bodies have been asked to freeze secret funds.

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6:41pm

We promise transparency to the people, says Dar.

People Work Programme 2 is being abolished.

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6:36pm

Prime Minister Youth Skills Development Program will be launched. Whoever is younger than 25 years will be provided with 6-month vocational training. All expenses will be covered by the federal government, says Dar.

Masters and PhD student’s fees will also be paid by the federal government.

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6:35pm

Laptops will be given to any student who is getting higher education from any HEC associated university, says Dar.

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6:33pm

A scheme will be launched to provide employment training opportunities for the youth in government offices, says Dar.

Whoever is younger than 25 years old and has completed 16 years of education will be eligible for the one year training program. Rs10,000 will be paid monthly to the enrolled candidates.

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6:32pm

100% sales and excise duty has been abolished for Hybrid vehicles upto 1,200cc.

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6:28pm

The current budget will be encourage the exploration of alternate energy sources. Machinery that makes use of wind and solar energy will be made easily available.

Energy savers will be exempted from customs duty.

Access to clean water is the basic right of every citizen. To mitigate the prevalence of water-borne diseases, water filtration system will have its customs duty reduced, says Dar.

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6:24pm

Necessary amendments are being made to address the ambiguity surrounding sales tax and federation excise.

Sales tax has been increased from 16% to 17%.
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6:19pm

0.5% tax will be levied on movable property in the government’s income support programme and I will be the first one to make the contribution, says Dar.

Aashiana housing scheme will be launched.

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6:18pm

Rs 100,000 to Rs 2,000,000 loans will be made available to small businesses.

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6:13pm

Adjustable taxes will be levied on small businesses.
Withholding tax will be levied on traders’ registrations.

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6:10pm

An adjustable withholding tax has been introduced for holding wedding functions in hotels, clubs etc.

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6:05pm

Special economic zones, with tax exemptions will be launched.

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6:04pm

Government is chalking out a fool-proof tax recovery system.

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6:02pm

10% increase in pension has been approved by the federal cabinet.

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5:58pm

Withholding tax will be imposed on foreign soap operas and movies, says Dar.

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5:56pm

The government plans to increase credit facilities for the private sector by reducing its own borrowings.

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5:54pm

Rs21 billion has been allocated for the health sector.

The federal government will provide assistance to the four provinces in their task of combating prevalent illnesses like measles, says Dar.

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5:50pm

Rs2 billion relief package will be granted during the holy month of Ramazan.

Rs18 billion fund has been allocated for HEC.

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5:49pm

We are working on connecting Gwadar port to Afghanistan and China, says Dar.

The allocated funds for the federal ministers will be abolished.

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5:46pm

Pakistan Railways has become an organization which is sustaining considerable losses.

Through focused leadership and a renewed promise, we will work on improving the infrastructure and operations of Pakistan Railways, says Dar.

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5:44pm

Tax exemption on VVIP cars will be abolished.

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5:39pm

Business loans will be granted 8% mark-up from Rs10 million to Rs20 million.

Rs225 billion have been allocated for investment in the energy sector.

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5:38pm

We need to explore new sources of water supply. Our government is allocating Rs59billion for the purpose, says Dar.

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5:35pm

Income support fund will be increased by 20% from Rs1,000 to Rs1,200, says Dar.

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5:33pm

Benazir Income support funds will continue, says Dar.

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5:31pm

Development funds will be increased by 50% to Rs540 billion, says Dar.

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5:30pm

We will reassess the system of subsidies so that funds could be diverted to the poor, says Dar.

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5:28pm

Low budget Nandi Pur project will be completed in 18 months, says Dar.

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5:26pm

We will take legal action against whoever is responsible for the misuse of country’s resources, says Dar.

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5:24pm

In a historical move, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to resolve the circular debt situation within 60 days, says Dar.

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5:21pm

We will keep a steady watch on the prices, says Ishaq Dar.

New budget schemes will be introduced.

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5:19pm

Our aim is to reduce fiscal deficit rate, says Dar.

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5:18pm

We will have to bring a revolution in the shattered infrastructure of the country, says Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

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5:17pm

The previous government left the economy in tatters. The value of dollar rose from Rs60 to Rs100. The government borrowed heavily from IMF, says Dar.

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5:12pm

We want to create an economy that doesn’t depend on other countries, says Dar.

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5:11pm

The budget is based on our party’s manifesto, says Dar.

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5:05pm

Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has started to announce the provisions of the federal budget.

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5:00pm

The Federal Cabinet has approved the 2013-2014 budget.

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