Finance Minister for Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP) Mr. Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra called on the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, at the Finance Division.
SAPM on Finance and Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood and Secretary Finance Division Kamran Ali Afzal were also present during the meeting.
The Provincial Finance Minister from KP briefed the Finance Minister about efforts undertaken by the Provincial government to curtail expenditure and rationalize spending with a key focus on providing maximum relief to the masses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He also outlined measures taken to enhance provincial tax collection by expanding the tax base and reducing the number of taxes.
The Provincial Finance Minister KP further apprised about the commitment of the KP Government to streamline pay and pension expenditure which takes the biggest chunk of the overall Budget.
In his remarks, the Finance Minister Mr. Shaukat Tarin urged the Provincial administration to adhere to strict financial discipline and work out modalities to rationalize expenditure and divert savings towards socio-economic development in the Province particularly amid COVID-19 and in post-COVID-Scenario. He stressed stimulating economic activity through out-of-box thinking for enhancing revenues, rationalizing the workforce, and harmonizing tax structure aiming at improving service delivery in the Province.
While discussing Budget proposals, the Federal Finance Minister stressed that Education and Health are the key priority areas and must be given preference during the Budget making exercise. He encouraged consultative processes between the Federal Government and Federating units for effective resource mobilization.
Later, Finance Minister for Punjab Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht also called on the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin at the Finance Division.
The Provincial Finance Minister briefed the Federal Finance Minister about the overall fiscal position and upcoming Budget considerations during the meeting. He highlighted the steps taken by the Punjab Government to provide maximum relief to the vulnerable segments of the society during these testing times. He spelled out the vision and commitment of the Punjab Government to increase revenues, control expenditure, job creation, reduction of poverty and facilitating agriculture, Industrial and service sectors to tap the true potential of these sectors for export-led growth.
In his remarks, the Finance Minister emphasized the need for value-addition in Budget making exercise. He urged the Provincial Finance Minister to rationalize expenditure and harmonize taxation policies for a growth-oriented Budget.
The Finance Minister held meetings with the Provincial Finance Ministers as a part of an overall consultative process with key stakeholders including Provinces to seek valuable inputs for the formulation of a people-friendly growth-oriented Budget.