ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Planning & Power Ministers Ahsan Iqbal and Khurram Dastgir unveiled the Pakistan Economic Survey 2021-22. The panel talked about the upcoming budget and made it clear that the middle class would not get any relief or subsidy in the upcoming budget (to be presented today).
Miftah was focussed more on lashing out at the PTI government rather than discussing how the agriculture and service sectors aided in the 5.97 per cent economic growth. However, the finance minister shed some light on negotiations with the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and said that both parties would soon reach a staff-level agreement.
Regarding salaries, the government has decided to increase the pensions and salaries by 12 to 15pc. According to the finance minister, the previous government had pushed the budget deficit to Rs5.1 trillion. He added that minimising tax distortion and applying exemptions will be the core targets of the forthcoming budget.
Miftah also clearly said that government could not give subsidies to the middle-class sector as people earning less than Rs40,000 were getting petrol subsidies.
The survey revealed that during PTI tenure, the unemployment rate escalated. Across the country, 12.2pc people aged between 24-20 were jobless. During 2018-19 this rate was 11.8pc. Overall, countrywide, the unemployment rate stood at 6.3pc.