Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses a meeting on March 15, 2023. — Radio Pakistan

In a bid to mitigate the suffering of the public amid skyrocketing inflation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed his economic team to provide “maximum relief” to the common man in the budget 2023-24.

The premier — while chairing a meeting to review the budget 2023-24 preparations — ordered to take every possible step to facilitate the middle and lower income segments of society.

During the meeting, the economic team briefed PM Shehbaz about budget preparation besides the revised targets of tax collection for the current fiscal year and the proposed targets for the next fiscal year.

The meeting was informed that after approval from the federal cabinet, the budget 2023-24 would be presented on June 9. It was also informed that Pakistan’s economy is inching towards stability and the fiscal deficit was continuously declining.

Expressing satisfaction over the performance on the economic front, he said, due to better economic policies, the country’s current account balance turned to a surplus after several years.

He also expressed satisfaction over the declining trend in the urea fertilizer prices saying that it became possible only due to the government’s timely action.

Availability of fertiliser at affordable prices, he further said, would not only ensure the prosperity of the farmers but the country would also move towards self-sufficiency in the agricultural commodities.

Furthermore, the prime minister also directed to finalise the pension reforms as soon as possible. He said a pension fund should be established by adopting innovative methods to ensure minimum financial burden on the national exchequer.

Premier Shehbaz said after the pension reforms, the welfare of the pensioners would also be ensured. He also directed authorities to take practical steps to expand the tax net and raise tax revenues.

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