THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Instability of Federal Government Revenues and Expenditures in Pakistan
As in many other countries, in Pakistan too, the government provides a number of social goods and services. For this purpose, the government has to spend huge amounts of money every year. Federal government expenditures in real terms have grown at an annual average rate of 8.84 percent during the past fifteen years. Also, the share of the federal government expenditures in GNP has increased from 20.93 percent in 1971-72 to 25.19 percent in 1985-86. The main component of the federal government expenditures is of the recurrent type and is devoted to defence, civil administration, debt servicing, health, education, roads, and other such services. At present, the level of social goods and services provided by the government is not considered satisfactory. Moreover, public demand for them is on the increase due to an increasing population growth rate and rising standards of living in the country. The government needs resources to meet the public demands for its goods and services and to fulfill the development requirements of the country. For this purpose, the government generates revenue through various taxes and tapping other revenue sources. It is important that these taxes and other revenue sources yield a stable revenue over time. If there are large year to year fluctuations in revenue, it becomes very difficult for the government to meet its inflexible obligations and to implement development plans. Stability of revenues, therefore, becomes very important for fiscal management and development planning.