NEC meets today as govt wants to increase development budget

NEC meets today as govt wants to increase development budget


The 13-member constitutional body headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz was formed last week

Follow on
Follow us on Google News

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk/Dunya News) – With the government set to table the Budget 2024-25 before the National Assembly, the National Economic Council (NEC) is meeting today (Monday) with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair to review the ongoing and future investment plans as well as the targets for 2024-25.

The meeting comes at a time when the government wants to increase the development budget amid the assurance given by Beijing to pour Chinese investment into Pakistan and the wait for another IMF programme.

Last week, President Asif Ali Zardari had approved for the formation of NEC – a 13-member constitutional body whose functions are defined under Article 156.

It is headed by the prime minister with the chief ministers of the four provinces its members. Other NEC members include four nominated by the prime minister and one each by the provincial chief executives.

That’s why four federal cabinet members – Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Asif, Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal are currently the NEC members after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif selected them for the purpose.

Meanwhile, Marriyum Aurangzeb has been nominated by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz followed by Jam Khan Shoro from Sindh, Muzammil Aslam from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Zahoor Buledi from Sindh.

Interestingly, the NEC meeting coincides with the expected the rate cut by the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee which also scheduled to sit today.

Read more: Central bank expected to slash Pakistan interest rates today

Article 156 (2) says, “The National Economic Council shall review the overall economic condition of the country and shall, for advising the Federal Government and the Provincial Governments, formulate plans in respect of financial, commercial, social and economic policies; and in formulating such plans it shall, amongst other factors, ensure balanced development and regional equity.”

It is the reason why the NEC on Monday is scheduled to review current fiscal year’s annual plan. It will also approve the annual plan and Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for 2024-25.

Meanwhile, the meeting will also consider and approve annual development programmes of the four federating units.