The next budget might contain higher gas and electricity prices as well as a real estate tax.

The Finance Ministry is now negotiating a possible new rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has caused delays in budget preparations for the upcoming fiscal year.

Because of the approaching arrival of an IMF delegation, it was not possible to adhere to the scheduled budget preparation, which included submitting the budget strategy document and holding meetings of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee.

The forthcoming IMF delegation will be consulted on the new budget, according to Finance Ministry sources. Later this month, an IMF group is travelling to Pakistan to begin talks on a new rescue package.
Prior to being completed and approved by the federal cabinet on April 22, the budget strategy paper was specified. To make matters worse, the budget strategy paper for the following three years—2024–2027—has not even been finished yet. Even though they were supposed to take place the first week of May, the Annual Plan Coordination Committee meetings—which are essential for determining the budget for every ministry—have not yet taken place.

The goals are to complete the budget documents by the end of the month for cabinet approval, and the National Economic Council meeting is scheduled for the second week of May, according to the sources.
Following the approval of all budgetary documents by the cabinet, the budget is anticipated to be presented in parliament during the first week of June. Sources claim that in accordance with IMF rules, the government intends to make difficult choices in the upcoming budget.

A number of sectors, particularly real estate, will see higher taxes, gas and electricity prices as a result of the budget’s proposed modifications. Furthermore, policies to prevent the ownership of benami properties are suggested, emphasising the use of development funding only for active projects.

The government is committed to following IMF guidelines while pursuing economic stability and reform, as seen by the postponement of budget preparation. In order to maintain budgetary sustainability and growth in the upcoming fiscal year, Pakistan must make important decisions as talks with the IMF continue.

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