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Government Focused on Higher Growth of Economy: Dar

Islamabad (October 16, 2017): Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday said that the government is focused on the ‘higher growth of the economy.

According to the details, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while presenting a report on the first quarter of the fiscal year 2018-19. has said that Pakistan’s economy has improved compared to last year.

Dar said that our real objective should be higher growth because that only will push the economy in the right direction.

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The finance minister said that the government is focused on not to lose the 6 percent growth target.

“We have monitored, managed, and controlled expenditures to a large extent,” Dar said.

“As far as the economic indicators are concerned, inflation is contained and interest rates are lowest in decades,” he said, adding that the inflation figures at the end of the fiscal year stood at 4.2 percent.

He added that the energy sector had been ignored for more than a decade, with a circular debt standing at 503 billion rupees.“The infrastructure needed investment and the country was faced with a huge challenge in terms of security, which the government addressed,” he said.

“Some countries say that Pakistan is home to sanctuaries of certain terrorist organisations but these claims are completely false,” he said, as he praised the Pakistani armed forces for doing a great job in improving the country’s security situation.

He said that the government is focused on the ‘higher growth of the economy.’

He said that the circular debt has been brought under 400 billion rupees, and the load shedding has been reduced to a large extent as compared to the 18-hour outages in the past.“Even after curtailing the energy deficit and addressing the load shedding problem to a large extent, we have managed to bring down the circular debt,” the minister said.

Citing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report published in February, Dar said that the world has a positive outlook on Pakistan’s future.

“The PwC report has forecasted that Pakistan will become the sixteenth largest economy in the world by 2050,” he said, adding that Morgan Stanley gave the country the ’emerging market status,’ and international credit rating agencies upgraded the country’s rating.

He insisted that a lot of hard work needs to be done to take Pakistan head and for that ‘everyone must play their part.’

Revenue collection from July to September stood at Rs765 billion with which is 20 per cent higher than last year, Dar said. Revenue collection targets have been met, he added.

The government has been able to reduce the overall budget deficit to Rs324bn whereas it was Rs438bn in the first quarter of 2017-18.Transfers to the provinces from the federal government have also experienced an increase with Rs570bn transferred in the first quarter this year as compared to Rs416bn last year, Dar revealed.

He said that the current expenditure has been managed and controlled with Rs894bn spent in the first quarter this year, compared to Rs914bn spent last year, despite an increase in revenue this time around.

This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.

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