Federal budget focuses on sustainable economic growth: Tarin

Federal budget focuses on sustainable economic growth: Tarin

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said on Saturday that the federal budget for fiscal year 2021-22 was "growth-oriented" and the real challenge for the government was to achieve inclusive growth for everyone.

The finance minister made the remarks while addressing a post-budget press conference in Islamabad alongside Minister for Industries Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar and Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Asim Ahmed.

"For the first time we have given an overall growth-oriented budget," Tarin said, pointing to innovation in revenue collection, incentives given to exporters and exemption of duties on local industry.

He said the government's main focus in the budget was to not make poor people wait for the trickle-down effect to reach them.

"God has given us the ability in this budget to become a means for the poor so they understand that this government will not wait for trickle-down [effect]. Our challenge is to do inclusive growth for everyone.

"There will be growth because you saw how we raised [funds for the] Public Sector Development Programme and gave relief to the industrial and agriculture sector," Tarin said.

Tarin said the poorest four million households across the country would be eligible for government help based on a "non-political" survey on household income levels. "We don't want to play politics with the poor."

The finance minister said that urban households would be provided Rs500,000 in interest-free business loans and up to Rs2 million for housing loans.

Farming households would, meanwhile, be provided with interest-free loans of Rs150,000 for every crop and Rs200,000 for leasing tractors and other farming equipment and machinery.

Tarin added that through the technical training and skill development programmes, one person from every household would be made employable. The finance minister said that skill development programmes would be particular to the needs of the area and its local industry.