Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh says economic indicators of the country are on positive trajectory with growth rate projected to increase.
He said this while addressing a news conference along with Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in Islamabad this afternoon (Monday).
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance said external trade deficit is continuously reducing along with increase in dollar reserves of the country.
He said fiscal deficit has also saw reduction when compared with the previous year.
He said the revenues collected by FBR have also seen upward trend. He said exchange rate of the rupee is on stabilization and is gradually improving. The situation of the stock market is also satisfactory and index gradually increasing.
The Advisor said a very good deal was struck with traders of the country in which they were given incentives and also urged to become part of the documentation drive.
On the fiscal side, he said, 2.1 billion dollars of debt was returned in order to keep the credit rating of the country high. He said no money was borrowed from State Bank of Pakistan since the last four months.
As a result, it gave a go ahead to the second tranche of the IMF package.
The Advisor said President of World Bank in his recent visit also hailed the reforms in FBR, SBP and power sector among other areas.
He said government has decided to allocate extra 30 billion rupees as subsidy for Naya Pakistan Housing Program.
On trade,Dr. Hafeez Shaikh said, an extra amount of 200 billion rupees will be given to exporters to subsidize them. He said the share of loans given by State Bank of Pakistan is also being increased by 100 billion rupees for exporters.
He said it has been decided to cancel Sales Tax Refund Bonds immediately and the amount to be given in the form of cash to exporters to help increase their productivity.
In power sector, he said, 250 billion rupees will be given by the government to the electricity producers in order to retire the circular debt.
Replying to a question, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said talks between federation and provinces continue on NFC award.
He said the share of FATA in the award is being determined after its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Responding to a question, he said the government is cognizant of the increase in prices of essential items and is working on various options to bring these down.
He said grant of six billion rupees to Utility Stores Network will help bringing down prices of items of daily use.
To another question, Hafeez Shaikh said reforms process in the State Owned Enterprises will be made while taking care of the rights of the employees working there.
Kiani / Ghauri