Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the government’s economic team to utilize all possible resources to provide maximum relief to common man in the budget for upcoming fiscal year 2023-24. Chairing a meeting here to review the budget 2023-24 preparations, he ordered to take every possible step to minimize the financial crisis of the middle and lower income segments of the society. During the meeting, the economic team briefed the prime minister about budget preparation besides the revised targets of tax collection for current fiscal year, and the proposed targets for 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 was inching towards stability and the fiscal deficit was continuously declining. PM Shehbaz, expressing satisfaction over the performance on economic front said, due to better economic policies, the country’s current account balance turned to surplus after several year and was showing surplus for last two months. 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. He said availability of the fertilizer at affordable price would not only ensure prosperity of the farmers but the country would also move towards self-sufficiency in the agriculture commodities. Furthermore, the prime minister also directed to finalize 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. Shehbaz Sharif said after the pension reforms, welfare of the pensioners would also be ensured. He also directed to take practical steps to expand the tax net and raise the tax revenues. Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Advisor Ahad Cheema, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadiq Malik, Special Assistants to PM Dr Jehanzeb Khan, Malik Ahmad Khan, Tariq Pasha, Tariq Bajwa, Attalulla Tarrar, MNA Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue and other officials attended the meeting. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that practical steps were being taken for provision of best infrastructure and transport facilities to the residents of Islamabad. The prime minister directed the relevant authorities to make efforts for extending global standard facilities to the citizens of the capital. The prime minister chaired a meeting on the development projects of Islamabad. The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah, PM’s adviser Ahad Cheema, PM’s special assistant Tariq Bajwa, Hanif Abbasi, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Anjum Aqeel, former MNAs, chairman Capital Development Authority, secretaries and other senior officials, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. The prime minister also directed for acceleration of pace on the ongoing development projects without compromising on transparency and quality work. The meeting was apprised that in the rural areas of Islamabad, work on Rs10 billion package was being carried out which would bring a new era of development in these areas. For improvement of the transport system in Islamabad, a total of 160 electric buses would run on different routes while 30 electric buses out of this batch would arrive by the mid of June to ply on two routes. Addressing the participants, the prime minister said that overseas Pakistanis were the precious assets of the country and their welfare was among the top priorities of the government. The meeting was apprised that a number of housing units equipped with the latest facilities were being constructed in the federal capital for the overseas Pakistanis while residential schemes for expatriates were also initiated in which they would be provided with concession of 15 percent over full payment. The meeting was informed that a total of 45 commercial plots located at the best locations of Islamabad were ready for auction. It was further informed that for the rural and urban areas of Islamabad, a short-term solid waste management project would commence in June, this year whereas an international tender had been floated for the solid waste management under a long-term plan. The prime minister directed that a comprehensive solid waste management plan should be presented before the federal cabinet for approval.