The federal government will unveil an Rs350 billion mini-budget today, which traders and government critics worry could trigger a new wave of inflation in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned a federal cabinet meeting for today at noon to approve the budget. The Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 will be approved by the federal cabinet, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Later, as part of the government’s effort to acquire the $6 billion IMF package, the Finance Amendment Bill 2021 will be introduced directly in the National Assembly.
PM Khan will preside over a meeting of the PTI’s parliamentary party members who will be briefed on the mini-budget.
According to sources, following the ratification of the mini-budget, prices of many commodities, including power, gas, and petroleum goods, will rise due to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) strict conditions.
According to sources, this budget will hike taxes and charges on more than 1,700 products, including all imported and luxury items, in addition to rolling back subsidies worth Rs350 billion.
Fawad Chaudhry, the Federal Minister of Information, declared on December 28 that the mini-budget would be adopted by the National Assembly (NA) in three days.
Fawad Chaudhry, speaking to the media on the federal cabinet’s decisions, said he couldn’t go into detail about the budget, but that its implementation will have no impact on the average person.
He had challenged the opposition to provide any credible alternatives to continuing the US$6 billion IMF loan if they had any.
Prior to Chaudhry’s statement, it was speculated that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had chosen to enact a mini-budget by ordinance rather than passing it through Parliament.
According to sources within the finance ministry, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has imposed a deadline of January 12, 2022, to begin implementing a mini-budget.
The IMF is also emphasizing the importance of budget approval by Parliament, but according to finance ministry officials, the approval of the Rs360 billion mini-budget by Parliament will take a long time because calling a joint session of Parliament in a short period of time for approval is impossible.
As a result, the government decided to urge the IMF once more to issue a Presidential Ordinance repealing the GST exemptions. The suggestion for the issuance of a Presidential Ordinance has already been rejected by the IMF.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund meeting will be held on January 12, 2022.
The federal information minister, on the other hand, denied the allegations and stated that the mini-budget would be tabled in the Lower House of Parliament for approval.