Miftah reiterates to put economy on right direction
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that economy will be put on development trajectory and issue of price-hike to be controlled in the next few months.
He said this during an interview with official media. He said that economic targets set for the current fiscal year will be achieved as a result of better decision making by the present government,
The finance minister, however said increasing exports could be challenging in view of looming recession in the West, “We have to put in more effort to bolster our exports.”
He said no load-shedding is being carried on the industrial feeders to support this important sector of the economy.
The finance minister rejected the impression created by some quarters of the society that the country’s remittances, exports and tax collection witnessed decrease in recent months.
He pointed out there had been record remittances in the month of May whilst the FBR also achieved its targets in the period between April and June this year.
Miftah said they have set target of enhancing the revenue by thirty five percent during the current fiscal year. He said that the FBR will collect 7500 billion rupees while eight hundred billion rupees will be collected as a levy.
Miftah said the government is supporting the productive sectors of the economy including the agriculture, industries and Information Technology to take the economy in the right direction. He said tax on seeds has been abolished whilst tax on IT export proceeds has been reduced from one percent to 0.25 percent.
When asked about the rupee depreciation, the finance minister expressed the confidence that the pressure on it will reduce in the next week. Citing the reason behind it, he said, “we have succeeded to reduce imports.”
Pakistan currently stands in a position where its new imports are less than exports and remittances, he said. He recalled there were imports of eighty billion dollars and exports of thirty one billion dollars during the last fiscal year.
Responding to a question, Miftah said Pakistan is expected to receive the next tranche of the IMF by the end of next month after the IMF’s board meeting on 24th August.
He said four to five billion dollars are also expected from the friendly countries. He said one friendly country is ready for immediate investment in the country.
The federal cabinet has approved a law to pave way for this investment. Matters pertaining to the oil and gas deferred payment are also likely to be finalized with the friendly countries in a week time.
Yet to another question, the finance minister said a lot is being done to bring improvement in the power sector. He regretted that the previous government neither made any investment to improve the electricity transmission system nor timely completed the power generation plants.
He said the PTI government also did not sign any long term fuel agreement and resultantly we have to operationalize those power plants which operate on expensive furnace oil.
He said we will support the farmers and the poor consumers to convert to solar in order to save them from electricity bills.
When asked about the problems faced by the common man due to price hike, the finance minister said under “Sasta Petrol and Sasta Diesel scheme,” relief assistance of two thousand rupees is being given to deserving families. Cash assistance is also being provided to deserving families under Benazir Income Support Program. He said essential commodities are being provided at subsidized rates to the consumers through the utility stores.