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Finance minister says government will cut expenditure

News Report
Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

KAMALIA: Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb assured the people on Tuesday that the government will cut its expenditures and was mulling over its outlays.

“We are focusing on government expenditures. People would know about the austerity measures within one and a half months,” the finance minister said addressing media persons in Kamalia.

The finance minister further said the government should dissolve the ministries belonging to the subjects that have been devolved.

Stressing that schools and hospitals could be run on charity but tax was required to run a country, Aurangzeb said the government would have to gradually bring the tax amnesty down.

He also said the government was increasing the tax net by bringing other sectors into it, adding that it will be applied on retailers from July. “About 31,000-32,000 retailers were registered with the government,” he said.

Blaming the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Aurangzeb said laws regarding tax collection were present but the authority was not collecting tax properly. He said digitisation of tax would curb corruption.

Highlighting the importance of privatisation of loss-making state institutes, the finance czar said outsourcing of the Karachi airport would be completed in July, while Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had directed to hand over the Lahore airport as well to the private sector.

Aurangzeb further said that it would have been better if the Pakistan International Airlines was sold 10 years ago. “If the country has to progress and burden on the government has to be lessened, all of these entities will have to be privatised,” he said.

On employment opportunities, the minister said there was no need for the government to provide jobs as children were already earning sitting at homes. The IT sector was generating a revenue of $3.5 billion, he maintained.

He said the IT and agricultural sector could improve the country’s economy, adding that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions had nothing to do with the agriculture or IT sector.

On PM Shehbaz’s recent visit to China, Aurangzeb said that they did not go to China to seek funds this time, instead they sought technology from the iron brothers.