Coalition govt to propose budget of Rs9.5 trillion, $41 billion loans required to keep economy stable

ISLAMABAD: The Shehabz Sharif-led coalition government is expected to present a budget of Rs9.5 trillion. The new budget will aim to increase expenses by only 4 per cent in a bid to meet the prime condition of the International Monetary Fund of a one-fourth hike in revenues.

A total of 58pc from the upcoming budget will be allocated for debt servicing and defence. The debt servicing cost increased by 26pc or Rs800 billion in one year. For Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), Rs725 billion will be proposed, but Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning & Development, hinted at Rs800 billion for PSDP.

According to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, the most challenging task will be to arrange foreign loans of $41 billion during the forthcoming fiscal year for running economic affairs. To manage the current account deficit, the country needs $12 billion to surge the foreign exchange reserves to $18 billion.  An estimated $21 billion are required to repay foreign loans.

A meeting with IMF will take place on Wednesday to discuss the budget draft. As per sources, IMF will propose some changes in the draft.

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