ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail said that the government had received Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy (MEFP) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would combine the seventh and eighth tranches.
The government would receive from the IMF $ 900 million as the seventh tranche and $1 billion as the eighth tranche, the Minister said this while addressing the conference titled “Turnaround Pakistan” here.
The Minister said that the Prime Minister Muhammad Shabaz Sharif’s dream was to take Pakistan towards self reliance, sustainable and inclusive growth. “This goal is not difficult.
The government has examples of China, Japan and South Korea, which have grown by 10% annually.
He said: “We intend to provide relief to 6 million people, of which 4 million are already registered. The Prime Minister has provided a scheme for cheap petrol and food which will benefit 6 million people,” he said adding that the government had made difficult decisions to strengthen Pakistan’s economy.
“When we left the government, country’s debt servicing stood at Rs 1,500 billion per year, which currently stands at Rs 4,000 billion and now our debt has doubled. Now Pakistan can’t afford any more deficits,” he said while explaining anomalies involving tax to GDP ratio which is one of the lowest in the world.
He said that the government made petrol more expensive and the poor people understood the situation and sided with us. Similarly, “we imposed tax on rich people and also imposed super tax on 10 percent of industries.
The government is also bringing shopkeepers all over Pakistan into the tax net,” the Minister said adding that economic growth in Pakistan required strong fiscal discipline and economic management.
He said that our savings and investment ratio was very low which needed more work. The government was budgeting the deficit at the moment and the current deficit was forcing us to take new loans.
He further said that the government was giving subsidies of Rs. 700 billion this year. He said that in order to balance our annual budget, we have to move towards export led growth so that the country’s economy can achieve sustainable growth.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal said that under the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif the government had launched a project which would provide special package to 25 poor districts of Pakistan in coming 5 years to resolve the issue of these areas.
He highlighted that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the commodities prices increased, including wheat, crude oil and many more. The Minister said that the previous government had not made timely decisions and the current government was on the way to correct that course.
He said Pakistan’s development budget was Rs1000 billion but the PTI government had not increased the development budget in past four years. He said: “the Ministry of Finance has revealed that there are no funds for development projects which has never happened in 75 years.”
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