Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad in collaboration with Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) hosted a webinar titled ‘Federal Budget 2021-22; Growth and/or Austerity’ on 18th May 2021.
Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan, Dean, School of Social Sciences & Humanities, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) with Dr. Shahid H. Kardar, Vice-Chancellor, Beacon house National University (BNU) and Former Provincial Finance Minister/ex-Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Ms. Anam Saeed, Consultant at Ministry of Finance, KPK were the panelists, where more than hundred people joined the online session. The session was moderated by Dr. Nadeem ul Haque, Vice-Chancellor, PIDE.
Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan, shared his views on Federal Budget 2021-22. He also shed light on growth as the new “buzzword” and how growth cannot be achieved without stabilization.
The huge budget deficit causes major damages to the economy such as an increase in borrowing and an increase in interest rate, to name a few. According to the calculations by Dr. Ashfaque Khan, the budget deficit for this year will be 8.4 percent.
Pakistan’s economic malaise
Ms. Anam Saeed expressed her concern regarding the unrealistic growth strategies and the indirect tax imposed on the vulnerable segment of Pakistani society. She also focused on the lack of knowledge regarding Agricultural taxes on the Federal and Provincial levels.
Ms @IssMissAnamSaeed, Consultant, @FinMinistryPak KPK, stated that it is impossible that we will grow by 30% in overall gross revenue figures without collaborating with the provinces & without looking at the loopholes. pic.twitter.com/EEyJkrneq5
— Islamabad Policy Research Institute (@IPRI_Pak) May 18, 2021
Dr. Shahid Kardar talked in detail about the expenditures of Inter-provincial projects and loopholes in the exemption limit. He also proposed that the finances of government expenditure should be from the State Bank of Pakistan.
In closing remarks, the panel and moderator stressed that sustainability and growth go hand in hand, the government of Pakistan needs to set realistic growth standards based on extensive fact-based research.