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Fiscal deficit narrows to 0.8pc of GDP in first quarter

GDP 1 - Fiscal deficit narrows to 0.8pc of GDP in first quarter

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s fiscal deficit narrowed to 0.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year 2021-22 as compared to 1.1 percent of GDP during the same period of last year.

According to the monthly “Economic Update and Outlook for November”, released by the Ministry of Finance, the fiscal deficit has been reduced to Rs438.5 billion in Q1 FY2022 against Rs484.3 billion in the comparable period of last year.

The primary balance remained in surplus and stood at Rs184.2 billion (0.3 percent of GDP) in Q1 FY2022 against the surplus of Rs257.7 billion (0.6 percent of GDP) last year.

“The fiscal performance remained strong during the first quarter of the current fiscal year on the back of healthy growth in tax revenues, careful expenditure management and higher provincial surplus,” the report says.

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During the period under review, total revenues posted an impressive growth that outpaced the rise in expenditures. Total revenues grew by 22.3 percent, primarily driven by 36.6 percent growth in tax collection from both federal and provincial levels.

On the other hand, total expenditures increased by 14.5 percent with 8.6 percent growth in current expenditures and 23.0 percent rise in development expenditures and net lending.

Within the development, expenditures under PSDP grew by 63.2 percent to Rs262.1 billion during Q1 FY2022 against Rs160.5 billion in the same period of last year.

Similarly, the cumulative surplus of all the four provinces was higher than the previous year as it recorded at Rs276.9 billion in Q1 FY2022 against Rs44.4 billion last year.

It says the board was highly committed to further improving the tax collection through documentation and maximum taxpayer’s facilitation.

Meanwhile, the government was proficiently dealing with COVID-19 challenges through timely effective measures while it had sped up the vaccine process so that the economic activity remains on track without any disruption.

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