Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar said Thursday that Pakistan has the potential to become regional transit trade hub as envisaged by the Prime Minister by connecting it with all other regional countries through rail and road networks.
“We are actively engaged in all the developmental projects to facilitate regional trade for the socio economic benefit of the people and prosperity of the country", Ishaq Dar said while addressing the International Development Partners Conference on Integrated Transit Trade Management System was organized by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) here in Islamabad. However, he said “we have not been able to tap the full potential of our unique geographical location due to security issues”.
“The PML-N government is working on development of economic corridor worth $25 billion which will link Gawadar with Kashghar through motorway”, Ishaq Dar remarked.
The Finance Minster said that the economic corridor would be a win- win project not only for Pakistan and China but also for all other regional countries.
He said Pakistan was also signatory of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) which had decided to develop a rail and road routes linking China,Central Asia and South Asia to get huge economic potential of the three regions.
Speaking about Pakistan’s programme with the International Monitory Fund (IMF),Ishaq Dar said the entire programme was driven from Pakistan’s own economic agenda.
Highlighting the fiscal position of current financial year upto November 30, 2013, the Minister said that the FBR has collected a tax revenue of Rs 792 billion as against Rs 679 billion realized by FBP upto November 2012 (last year), showing a growth of 17%.
Highlighting the exchange rate position, the minister said the non-availability of dollar currency notes and speculative activities in the market were the main reasons behind dollar volatility.
Ishaq Dar said addition of 1,700 MW to the national grid had shown positive results which could be seen from the latest LSM growth results which was 0.5% last year and now 8.4%.
He added that by clearing circular debt, the government had saved Rs 70 billion of the national exchequer.
Speaking on the Chairman FBR, Tariq Bajwa said that the purpose of the conference was to review and find ways to improve the system for ensuring seamless movement of goods to and from the country.
Earlier, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Employees Oldage Benefits Institution (EOBI) and FBR to facilitate entrepreneurs and investors to register themselves.