ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that Pakistan has lost at least US$118 billion during the ongoing war on terror.
Addressing a post-budget press conference, the minister maintained that despite constraints the “defence allocations have been increased”.
Zarb-i-Azb is entering its final round and its successful conclusion would help attract direct foreign investment.
Shedding light upon the ‘salient features’ of the budget, the minister said that significant reduction in the prices of fertilisers, decreasing Rs400 per bag, and the Rs300 reduction on DAP bags was aimed at benefiting the farmer and agricultural sector at large.
About his plan to boost the agricultural sector, Dar reminded audience that the government has withdrawn 7 per cent duty on pesticides while off-peak rate of electricity for agricultural tube wells has been lowered from Rs8.85 a unit to Rs5.35.
Dar maintained that the government will spend Rs57 billion to provide relief to government employees through increase in their salaries and pension, out of which, Rs12billion will be spent on welfare of low grade employees.
The finance minister said the government kept prices of petroleum products unchanged for the current month to provide relief to people during Ramazan.
About the proposed Karachi-Lahore motorway, he said that it was a missing link in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision, adding that the Rs300 billion project is made a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.