Reported by: TheVoice ofUK (Islamabad Pakistan) A meeting was held , with Prime Minister Imran Khan in chair,
to discuss the objectives and considerations for the forthcoming budget (FY 2020-21). The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Industries & Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Planning Minister Mr. Asad Umar, Finance Adviser Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Adviser Commerce Abdur Razzaq Dawood, Adviser Institutional Reform Dr. Ishrat Hussain and senior officials. Finance Adviser Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh apprised the meeting about the overall state of economy and the philosophy, objectives and considerations for the next budget, FY2020-21. Dr. Hafeez Sheikh also dilated upon various constraints of economy, especially in wake of Corona pandemic, that has obliged the government to further focus on providing incentives to the industry for its revival and growth, cutting unnecessary government expenditure, rationalize subsidies and expedite reform process in critical sectors. Various proposals were discussed in detail to stimulate corona-affected economy, especially ensuring greater participation of the private sector in the development process and promoting public-private partnership to complement public sector development program. In his remarks, the Prime Minister stated that the Corona pandemic has severely affected upward trajectory of economy towards stabilization and strengthening. He said that the Government, despite its financial constraints, provided unprecedented stimulus economic package to support businesses and industry and to minimize the impact of corona. Discussing priorities for the forthcoming budget, the Prime Minister said that every effort should be made to provide all possible incentives to the industry, create jobs for the youth and moving the wheels of economy. He said that the most affected sectors be identified so as to provide them with maximum possible support in the forthcoming budget. The Prime Minister directed that the process of cutting unnecessary government expenditure should be expedited at all levels including the Federal Government as well as provincial governments. The Prime Minister stressed upon the need for reviewing the existing system of provision of subsidies to make them target-oriented and ensuring their optimum utilization. He said that the present situation calls for expediting reform process in critical sectors so as to reduce burden on national exchequer and provide relief to the masses. The Prime Minister also directed Adviser Finance to apprise the people of Pakistan about the current economic situation and the strategy being followed by the Government to cope with the challenges.