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Budget 2024-25: 2100 Billion Rupees Allocated for Defense Sector

Islamabad: The federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 will be presented in the National Assembly today. The budget session of the Lower House will commence at 4 PM.

Federal Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb will present the Finance Bill 2024 in the Assembly. The federal cabinet will approve the proposals included in the Finance Bill 2024 in its meeting today.

A significant allocation of 2100 billion rupees will be made for defense in the federal budget. Additionally, 9700 billion rupees will be earmarked for interest payments on loans.

The government will propose 1500 billion rupees for development projects for the upcoming fiscal year.

The allocation of 2100 billion rupees for defense expenses reflects a 19.29% increase compared to the 1804 billion rupees in the fiscal year 2023-24 budget.

It is noteworthy that the federal government allocated 920 billion rupees in the 2017-18 federal budget, 1100 billion rupees in 2018-19, 1153 billion rupees in 2019-20, 1289 billion rupees in 2020-21, and 1370 billion rupees in 2021-22.

Meanwhile, media reports indicate that the government has proposed allocating 5.63 billion rupees for the Ministry of Defense’s development projects in the next budget.

This allocation includes 29 major projects, reflecting the government’s commitment to enhancing military infrastructure and technology. An amount of 3.92 billion rupees has been allocated for nine ongoing projects in the Ministry of Defense.

These projects are crucial for maintaining and upgrading the existing defense system and infrastructure.

Additionally, a substantial amount of 1.7 billion rupees has been allocated for 20 new schemes aimed at addressing emerging security challenges and advancing the country’s defense preparedness.

This includes 400 million rupees allocated for the purchase of drones, which will be used by law enforcement agencies and for emergency search and rescue operations. This highlights the government’s focus on modernizing defense equipment and technology.

Tax Revenue Targets:
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has set an ambitious tax collection target of Rs12,970 billion, reflecting the government’s effort to bolster revenue and reduce fiscal deficits.

Salaries and Pensions:
Government employees are set to receive a 10 to 15 percent increase in their salaries and pensions, with a particular focus on providing substantial relief to lower-grade employees.

BISP and Social Welfare:
The budget proposes an expansion in the number of beneficiaries under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and an increase in stipend amounts, aiming to provide better support to the most vulnerable segments of society.

Federal Development Budget: Year-on-Year Comparison:

The proposed Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for 2024-25 marks a substantial increase in development spending compared to the previous year, rising from Rs950 billion in 2023-24 to Rs1,400 billion. This increase underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure and social services.

  • Infrastructure:
    The infrastructure sector, particularly energy, sees the largest increase, with allocations rising from Rs81 billion to Rs253 billion. This substantial boost aims to address the country’s energy needs and support industrial growth.
  • Social Sector:
    Health and education sectors also receive significant increases, ensuring better services and facilities for the population, which will contribute to improving the overall quality of life for citizens.

The proposed PSDP 2024-25 is designed to accelerate development across multiple sectors, fostering economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for the people of Pakistan.

According to sources, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has imposed a condition to reduce income tax slabs. This proposal includes a 10% increase in tax on monthly incomes of 300,000 to 500,000 rupees for the salaried class, and the tax rate limit will be raised from 35% to 45%.

The final decision will be made in today’s federal cabinet meeting, where the approval for the increase in salaries and pensions will also be given.

Furthermore, the meeting will consider imposing a 6% General Sales Tax on petroleum products.

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