ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin Tuesday held separate meetings with provincial finance ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to seek valuable inputs for formulation of a people-friendly and growth oriented budget for the upcoming fiscal year (2021-22).
“The finance minister held meetings with the provincial finance ministers as a part of an overall consultative process with key stakeholders including provinces to seek valuable inputs for formulation of a people friendly growth-oriented Budget,” said a press statement issued by the finance ministry.
During a meeting with Provincial Finance Min-ister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra, the federal minister was about efforts undertaken by the provincial government to curtail expenditure and rationalize spending with a key focus on providing maximum relief to the masses amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The provincial minister also outlined measures taken to enhance provincial tax collection by expanding tax base and reducing the number of taxes and also apprised him about commitment of his government to streamline pay and pension expenditure which takes the biggest chunk of the overall Budget.
In his remarks, the finance minister urged the provincial administration to adhere to strict financial discipline and work out modalities to rationalize expenditure and divert savings towards socio-economic development in the Province particularly amid COVID-19 and in post COVID-Scenario.
He stressed to stimulate economic activity through out-of-box thinking for enhancing revenues, rationalizing workforce and harmonizing tax structure aiming at improving service delivery in the provinces.
While discussing Budget proposals, the federal finance minister stressed that education and health were the key priority areas and must be given preference during the budget making exercise. He encouraged consultative process between the Federal Government and Federating units for effective resource mobilization.
Later, Finance Minister for Punjab Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht also called on the finance minister and briefed him about the overall fiscal position and upcoming budget considerations during the meeting.
He highlighted the steps taken by the provincial government to provide maximum relief to the vulnerable segments of the society during these testing times.
He spelled out the vision and commitment of his government to increase revenues, control expenditure, job creation, reduction of poverty and facilitating agriculture, Industrial and service sectors to tap true potential of these sectors for an export-led growth.
In his remarks, the finance minister emphasized the need for value-addition in budget making exercise.
He urged the provincial finance minister to rationalize expenditure and harmonize taxation policies for a growth-oriented budget.