ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Friday presented a deficit budget with total outlay of Rs8.4 trillion with host of relief and budgetary measures.
Presenting the fiscal year budget, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on floor of the house said despite the severity of 3rd wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the incumbent government in its third budget made remarkable allocations to carry out out massive development projects and welfare activities for the downtrodden segments of society, besides promoting the agriculture sector to ensure food security and reduce dependence on imports.
He said the government steered the economy out of crisis and put it on the growth trajectory by pursuing prudent policies under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The minister said the country was now out of dangerous situation as the government took initiatives for its economic sustainability as evident from 3.94 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate during the current fiscal year.
The minister said it was for the first time that any government had to face a critical situation and it successfully put the economy on sustainable growth path.
He said the Current Account was now $800 million in surplus, as compared to deficit of $20 billion at the end of last government.
He said the previous governments had also manipulated exchange rate, which had adversely affected the economy, resulting into depletion of foreign reserves to $10 billion.
However, they increased the reserves by taking loans, which were now being repaid by the incumbent government, he added.
Tarin said the government had successfully fulfilled all the international commitments, besides putting the economy on growth trajectory. For the purpose, it had to take tough decisions, such as reducing public expenditures and enhancing revenues, he added.
He said during the current year, the agriculture sector did perform well despite locusts attacks and all the major crops, except cotton, witnessed positive growth.
Likewise, the services and the large scale manufacturing sectors also had considerable growth despite COVID-19 factor, he added.
The minister said one of the top priorities of incumbent government was to uplift the downtrodden segments, and for the purpose 40% of the total population was given cash transfers, besides providing relief to 15 million households across the country.