The report presents key terms and figures about the budget for the current fiscal year

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By Ahad Khan 

Amid heightened political and economic uncertainty, the government is set to present the budget for 2024-25. 

A total budget volume of almost Rs18,500 billion is expected for the next fiscal year. 

The KP government, under the leadership of its firebrand CM Ali Amin Gandapur, has already announced its budget with a total outlay of Rs1.7 trillion. 

PM Shehbaz has just returned from China. The eleventh hour visit to China just before the budget was aimed at reviving CPEC, seeking Chinese 'assistance' to shore up country's foreign exchange reserves and above all, reassuring the Chinese leadership of enhanced security for their workers in Pakistan. 

Besides China, the PML-N-led govt is also angling for more dollars from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the IMF. 

Pledges of investing $10bn and $5bn from Saudi Arabia and UAE after high-level engagements between top leaders are yet to see any tangible outcome. 

Talks with the IMF for a 'larger and longer' bailout package are also underway. It will be the 24th bailout package by the IMF to Pakistan if all goes well. 

Question of privatisation of SOEs is now in the shadows of these recent developments. What will happen to all these vaulting ambitions and lofty claims depends on how things pan out in the end. 


At present, the PML-N govt is beset by multiple challenges ranging from heavy debts and their respective debt servicing. Ruling party's temptation of spending on large infrastructure projects seems to be straitjacketed by the IMF. 

That's why planning ministry's ambition of setting national development programme target of over Rs3tr for FY25 is strictly opposed by the finance ministry to meet the IMF goals.

The public is usually concerned with PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme). The government is aiming to raise it to the tune of Rs1.47tr which is 47pc more than previous year’s. Last year the government set Rs950bn for PSDP which was reduced to Rs717bn due to fiscal constraints. 


Here are the key terms and statistics for a better understanding of our economic outlook. 

GDP: Pakistan's gross domestic product (GDP) or the size of Pakistan's economy is $374.903bn currently which was highest 375.449bn in FY22 and 338.15bn in FY23.

GDP GROWTH RATE: Govt's targeted GDP growth rate for year 2024-25 is 3.6pc. Current GDP growth rate is 2.38pc. 

DEBT: Pakistan's external debt has swollen to a whopping $135bn. Debt to GDP ratio is more than 70pc. Total debt payments are expected to spike to Rs8.3tr with a 81.4pc jump.

INFLATION: Inflation rate in May was 11.8 percent which is lowest in the last 30 months. 

POLICY RATE remained 22pc which the govt kept unchanged due to tight monetary policy. On Monday, the State Bank of Pakistan cut the policy rate by 1.5pc to 20.5pc. 

FISCAL BALANCE is -7.3 % while CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE is -2.9% of the GDP.


EXCHANGE RATE i.e Rs278 is stable than it was in the previous year.

GDP PER CAPITA INCOME is $1,680 which is slightly higher than the previous year when it was 1,551.

POVERTY RATE is 39.4pc with 12.5mn more people slipped into poverty in last year. Right now 95m people are living below the poverty line, according to The World Bank.

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI) has reduced to $1.099bn which was $1.217bn in the previous year. It fell by 9.7pc during this year.

With this data, what remains to be seen is bargaining position of Pakistan. Lastly, other than govt, much of whatever is required in coming days also depends on an oversized establishment-backed SIFC's role. 

One thing is inevitable, if at all short-term relief is given in the budget, it will negatively impact public in the long run as economy can’t be run permanently through band-aid solutions.