10 pc increase in salary of grade-1 to 16 govt employees announced

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ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar announced that federal government employees from Grade 1-16 will get a pay raise of 10 per cent, whereas those from Grade 17-20 will see a pay raise of 5 pc.
Presenting the budget 2019-20, the minister said that salaries of the from grade 21 to grade 22 will not be increase.
Amid thumps of approval, the minister for revenue also declares that the cabinet members will be taking a pay cut of 10 pc in their salaries.
The minimum wage has been increased to Rs17,500, the minister announced.
Giving an overview of the economic situation when the PTI government came to power, Minister of State for Finance Hammad Azhar said the country was facing overall debt of 31000 billion rupees including 97 billion dollars of external debt.
The foreign exchange reserves had dropped to 10 billion dollars.
He said trade deficit was 32 billion dollars while current account deficit touched 20 billion dollars all due to financial mismanagement of the previous government.
Circular debt had reached 1200 billion rupees at a rate of 38 billion rupees per month.
A loss of 1300 billion rupees was being faced by public sector institutions. This was unsustainable and as a result the rupee started falling in December 2017.
He said the government took a number of steps to correct the course of economy.
Import duties were increased and imports reduced from 49 billion dollars to 45 billion dollars.
Circular debt was reduced by 12 billion rupees per month and it was brought down to 26 billion rupees from 38 billion rupees.
Financial aid from China, UAE and Saudi Arabia helped stabilize the economy. Incentives for export sector were increased for three more years.
He said a programme of 6 billion dollars has been agreed with IMF.
This will help us gain 2 to 3 billion dollars loan more at very economical rates. Oil payment deferred facility from Saudi Arabia will also help reduce pressure on the government.
Seven billion dollars reduction in Current Account Deficit will be achieved this year, which will be 6.5 billion dollars next year.
The Asset Declaration Scheme will bring the undeclared assets into mainstream and help increase revenue of the government.
Tax policy has been separated from tax administration.
Pakistan Banao Certificates were issued in order to provide benefit to Overseas Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan. Billion Tree Tsunami and Clean and Green Pakistan initiatives were launched.
He said in Naya Pakistan, the culture of tax evasion will be overcome. Civil and Defense authorities have agreed to voluntary reduced in their budgets.
The Minister of State for Revenue said our aim during the financial year 2019-20 will be to increase the tax net.
Regretting the low tax to GDP ratio, he said the country cannot make progress without payment of taxes.
He appreciated the gesture of both the civilian government and the military leadership for voluntarily deciding to cut their expenditures.
He said the civil expenditures will be reduced by five percent from 460 billion rupees to four hundred and thirty seven billion rupees.
The defense expenditure will be maintained at 1150 billion rupees.
The Minister of state said we are firm for the defense and sovereignty of the country, and no compromise will be made on the defense capability of the country.
Given the current economic situation, Hammad Azhar said the government has acted with responsibility and taken steps for the economic stabilization.
We have increased import duty which helped us bring down imports from forty nine billion dollars to forty five billion dollars.
He said remittances have witnessed an increase of two billion dollars.
He said the IMF package will also help the country steer the economy towards stability.

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