ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar says GDP growth is increasing and inflation is decreasing due to prudent policies of the democratic Government.
He was addressing a news conference in Islamabad along with the country director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Pakistan Jeffery Franks.
He said no new tax would be imposed in the next fiscal budget. He said rates of electricity on 200 megawatt units will not be increased, adding that no cut would be made on the development budget of the country.
He said government will give relief to the employees in next budget according to the inflation rate. He said 10000 megawatt electricity would be inducted in national grid during the next four years. He said that forex reserves have reached at $ 13 billion.
Finance Minister said all the indicators of economy are going in the positive direction. He said the Government has to take difficult decisions to put the economic on the right track. He said every possible step are being taken for the welfare of the people.
He said the IMF has appreciated the steps taken by the Government with reference to improving the economy.
Ishaq Dar said the IMF revised its figure after the third review and projected the GDP growth at 3.3 percent.
He hoped that inflation will come down to five to six percent. He said IMF has also recognized improvement in balance of payment position. He said the Government has achieved better than expected foreign exchange reserves. In September this year it will be increased to fifteen billion dollars.
He said the State Bank of Pakistan is implementing monetary policy in good manner which is tool to control inflation. He said banking sector is performing well and non-performing loans are going downward.
The Minister said process of the UBL privatisation has begun and in this regard road show will be held on Monday.
Ishaq Dar said Federal Board of Revenue collected 1745 billion rupees in first ten months of this financial year which showed fifteen and half percent increase as compared to the same period last year. He hoped that the revenue target will be achieved.
He said Satuarday’s leave till 30th June have been cancelled of the staff of FBR and they are working hard in this regard. He said the Government is gradually implementing Tax Administration Reforms and efforts are underway to broaden the tax net.
He said Income Support Programme is a social safety net for the vulnerables and transparency in distribution of cash is being ensured. He said beneficiaries will be issued ATM cards linking with their CNICs for double check in distribution of financial assistance.
Finance Minister said energy sector reforms are underway to overcome the shortage. He said new projects based on coal, bio-gas and other alternative energy sources are being launched to generate more electricity. He said efforts are on to add ten thousand MW more electricity in the system during the next three to four years.
He said LNG import will be started in 2015 which will reduce the gas load shedding.
Speaking on the occasion, Jeffery Franks of IMF said Pakistan’s economic indicators are positive but there still are some challenges where Pakistan needs to work. He said after the third review of the IMF progrfamme to Pakistan, the report will be submitted to the Board of Directors. After its approval IMF will consider to release next trance of 550 million dollars to Pakistan.
He said the IMF team believes that the progress has been made on key indicators and IMF will continue to support Pakistan built its economy. He said it is good that the inflation has come down. He also appreciated the commencement of new energy projects in the country.
Mr. Franks said it has been agreed with Pakistan Financial Team that budgetary allocations for development projects will be increased in the coming budget.