Ministries of commerce-finance asked stakeholders for budget proposals

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ISLAMABAD: The ministries of commerce and finance have asked all the stakeholders divisions, departments, entities, trade bodies and the private sector — to submit their budget proposals latest by February 28 and March 15, respectively, so that the federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 could be finalised by the third week of May.

In separate memorandums, the two ministries have asked the stakeholders to follow standard formats in suggesting changes in the existing trade policy and revenue and expenditure estimates for next year while submitting their budget proposals.

Inviting budget proposals for the fiscal year 2022-23, the Ministry of Commerce has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Industries and Production, Nat­ional Tariff Commission, Engineering Deve­lop­ment Board, all regional chambers of commerce and industry, business councils, stock exchange, retailers, tax bar associations and tax advisers to submit their budget proposals by February 28 to the Tariff Policy Wing.

The commerce ministry said it was must for all stakeholders to provide their recommendations in Format Excel Sheet to facilitate the trade policy centre/tariff policy wing of the ministry to properly process and evaluate each proposal. They have also been asked to ensure that the existing customs tariff rates are carefully studies, consulted and examined by the quarters concerned before making the budget proposals for next year. “Wherever required, the proposal may be supported with the statistical data, etc., so that it is not dropped on account of any such infirmity,” the memorandum said.

The local manufacturers claiming tariff protection on their finished products or concession on raw materials have been advised to provide complete data as required in the format.

Likewise, the Ministry of Finance has asked all the ministries, divisions, provincial governments, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, civil and military organisations, Auditor General of Pakistan, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue and Control General of Accounts to submit by March 15 the estimates of their receipts and expenditures for the next fiscal year and revised estimates for the current year.

The stakeholders have been directed to keep in mind the medium-term indicative budget ceilings (IBCs) issued by the finance ministry for current and development budgets for three years — 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 — as base line for submission of budget estimates.

The notification required all the stakeholders to ensure submission of receipts, current and development expenditure estimates to the Budget Wing of Finance Division before March 15, 2022 by the respective principal accounting officers (PAOs). The remaining information should follow as per schedule given in budget calendar.

All these entities are also required to provide actual foreign exchange budget for FY2020-21, revised estimates for FY2021-22 and budget estimates for FY2022-23 in accordance with the specific instructions and general guidelines.

According to budget calendar, the finance ministry would hold budget review meetings in the fourth week of March and finalise the budget strategy paper (BSP-2022/23) by April 15. The Finance Division said it would prepare the BSP and seek approval of the federal government in accordance with Section 3 of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, 2019. It would issue indicative budget ceilings for current and development budgets by the third week of April.

During review and approval of budget estimates and additional demands — current and development — by the Demand Review Committee, if needed, the PAO will be invited to make presentations on their budget proposals to the committee (comprising the Finance Division, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division, and Economic Affairs Division).

The Demand Review Committee will consider and approve additional expenditure (if any) of the ministries, besides discussing past performance, current year’s budgetary allocations and ceilings for medium-term budgetary years. Deliberations will focus on ‘outputs’ (services) to be delivered and policy priorities outlined by the federal government under the respective performance agreement.

The federal ministries and divisions will receive the confirmed indicative budget ceilings after approval of the Budget Strategy Paper by the cabinet. The ceilings for current budget are prepared by the Finance Division. One-line ceiling for development budget is issued by the Finance Division in favour of the Planning Division.

The demand-wise ceilings for development budget are prepared and issued by the Ministry of Planning and Development which would then arrange meetings of the Annual Plan Coordination Committee and National Economic Council to approve the annual plan envisaging macroeconomic targets and development budgets. The presentation of budget to the federal cabinet and parliament has been targeted not to go beyond the first week of June.

The notification said that no lump sum provision would be made in the budget and all items under the object classification would be proposed according to the prescribed heads of accounts based on well-defined plans.

All ministries, divisions and their attached departments and subordinate offices will be required to surrender all anticipated savings in the grants or assignment accounts or grant-in-aid controlled by them to the Finance Division by May 31 as required under the Public Finance Management Act, 2019.

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