The Finance Minister, Asad Umar has announced to bring another mini budget in January 2019. While talking to journalists, he said that the aim of mini budget is not revenue generation; rather, reforms are going to be introduced for long term benefits. He added that prices of raw materials are likely to be reduced to boost exports. Moreover, reduction in taxes in few items is also being considered.
Once asked, he said that these measures are not being taken on the instructions of IMF, rather it is an indigenous effort to put the economy in the right direction. He also said that bail-out package from IMF will be obtained on better terms and will only be sought once it is essentially required. At present, the assistance provided by China, Saudi Arabia and UAE are enough to see off immediate balance of payment crisis.
The Finance Minister Asad Umar also informed about the grand strategy to restore Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan International Airlines, which will also be unveiled by end of January.
If a mini budget is announced in January 2019, it would be the second such supplementary budget introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government since coming into power in the July 28 general election. The finance minister had presented Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 in the National Assembly in September, saying that “difficult times called for difficult measures”.