Cabinet approves budget strategy in farewell meeting


ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet in its farewell meeting on Thursday approved the budget strategy document for 2013-14 in which Rs599 billion for defence and Rs1,450 billion were proposed to be earmarked.
Finance Minister Saleem Mandviwalla, who was flanked by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, at a press conference after the cabinet meeting, said that the budget strategy document 2013-14 was presented before the cabinet for approval.
The finance minister gave a comparison of the economic conditions of the country that prevailed in 2008-09 and now and said the real GDP growth was just 1.7 percent when the government assumed power and today the target for 2012-13 was 4.3 percent. He said inflation at that time was 25 percent and today it was between 7.4 percent and 8 percent while fiscal deficit stands at 6.5 percent of the GDP as against 7.6 percent in 2008-09.
Saleem Mandviwalla said that the FBR revenues have increased from Rs1 trillion to over Rs2 trillion; PSDP from Rs280 billion to Rs450 billion; stock market index has gone up from 4,800 to over 18,000 points and remittances by overseas Pakistanis have increased from $6.4 billion to $13.5 billion. Interest rate has come down from 17 percent to 9.5 percent and foreign exchange reserves today stands at $8.2 billion as against $6 billion to $7 billion when the government assumed power.

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