PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs the sectorial meeting regarding Ministry of Finance in Islamabad on April 4, 2024. — PID
PM Shehbaz Sharif chairs the sectorial meeting regarding Ministry of Finance in Islamabad on April 4, 2024. — PID
  • PM seeks plan to increase revenue without burdening common man.
  • Premier expresses resolve to take tax to GDP ratio by 15%.
  • Govt to work hard with IMF for future programmes: PM Shehbaz.

Endorsing Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s recommendations, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has promised to transfer all relevant ministries and departments to provinces under the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

PM Shehbaz made the announcement alongside a set of other instructions to revive national economy while chairing a sectoral meeting regarding the Ministry of Finance in Islamabad on Thursday.

The prime minister said the federation will strengthen the provinces by devolving all relevant ministries and departments to them under the 18th Amendment. He said expenditures will be minimised to reduce financial losses, Radio Pakistan reported.

In December last year, PPP chief Bilawal, during his election campaign, floated the idea of abolishing 17 federal ministries to save taxpayers’ “Rs300 billion” if his party elected into power.

It is noteworthy to mention here that the Bilawal-led party backed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to form a coalition government after the February 8 nationwide elections.

The former foreign minister — whose party was also a strong ally of the previous ruling coalition government after the ouster of former premier Imran Khan — recommended that the 17 federal ministries should have been devolved to provinces after the 18th Amendment.

The 18th Constitutional Amendment was passed on April 8, 2010. It devolved multiple federal ministries and powers to provinces. It divested the president of all his executive authority and made him a ceremonial head of the state.

Senior politician and PML-N central leader Khawaja Asif also endorsed Bilawal’s suggestion to devolve 10 out of 12 federal ministries, including education, and health to the provinces.

In the same huddle today, the premier instructed to present a compressive plan to increase revenue without burdening the common people and expressed the resolve to take tax to GDP ratio by 15% in next five years.

PM Shehbaz also advised to expedite the process of reforms and privatisation of loss-making state-owned enterprises. He said public-private partnership will be established for better services at all major airports of the country.

The premier said the government is fully focused on gradually reducing public debt, pension and subsidy reform as well as restructuring and privatisation of the state-owned enterprises.

Welcoming the completion of a standby programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said the government will work hard with the IMF for future programmes.

He also instructed to devise a comprehensive plan to reduce external debt. He said internationally renowned experts will be engaged to ensure economic sector’s progress.



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