Cash-strapped Pak government to unveil budget ahead of general elections this year

Updated: Jun 9 2023 12:21PM

By Sajjad Hussain

Islamabad, Jun 9 (PTI) Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is set to unveil on Friday Rs 14.5 trillion annual budget for 2023-24 that includes a staggering 66 per cent hike in the discretionary budget of parliamentarians, a decision that might push the cash-strapped country towards a looming default due to shrinking foreign reserves.

Pakistan government on Wednesday approved a 66 per cent increase in the discretionary budget of parliamentarians, reaching a record Rs 116 billion for the outgoing fiscal year, reported the Express Tribune newspaper.

The draft budget which is the last by the Shebaz Sharif government before elections later this year involves about Rs 6 trillion deficit gap which the government would try to fill through different means including external financing. The total outlay of the budget is expected to be Rs 14.5 trillion. The government employees are likely to receive a boost of 30 per cent in their ad hoc relief allowances as well as a 20 per cent hike in pensions.