PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar chairs SIFC Apex Committee meeting attended by COAS General Syed Asim Munir, federal ministers, chief ministers n PM approves various practical steps to be operationalised as soon as possible n Info minister says steps being taken to reduce govt’s expenditure n Finance minister says govt adopts holistic approach to revive economy n Energy minister claims efforts underway to reduce line losses in power sector n Industries minister says it is the time to open market for raw materials.
ISLAMABAD - The fifth meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council's (SIFC) Apex Committee held here on Friday with a special focus to improve the overall business and investment environment in the country being imperative for ‘economic revival’.
The meeting was chaired by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar and attended by Chief of Army Staff, federal cabinet members, provincial chief ministers and high-level government officials.
The ministries concerned presented their plans/roadmaps to overcome the macroeconomic challenges, governance related impediments and voids in regulatory mechanisms in a bid to attract both foreign and domestic investment, and stimulate economic growth.
The committee deliberated upon various measures to be taken in short, medium and long terms to reap the envisaged dividends. Various practical steps were approved by the prime minister that will be operationalised as soon as possible.
The prime minister asked the ministries to deliver optimal results irrespective of the time that was available with the caretaker government and emphasized to lay a strong foundation for the future government.
Addressing a press conference along with federal ministers in Islamabad on Friday, Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi says steps are being taken to promote investments in the country. Murtaza Solangi also said steps are also being taken to reduce government’s expenditure. He said issues related to smuggling, dollar and other commodities were discussed during Friday’s meeting of Special Investment Facilitation Council. Speaking on the occasion, Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar said we intend to enhance social safety net amidst structural adjustments. She said we are making concerted efforts to augment macroeconomic stability. She said our priority is to ensure supply of energy to industrial sector.
Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar on Friday said that the country is likely to receive $6billion inflows from the multiple sources during the current year 2023 including next tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Addressing a press conference, the minister said that the IMF would hold next review with Pakistan in November this year, which would pave way for releasing next loan tranche by the end of current year.
She further said that the country would also receive loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Overall, the country would receive $6 billion from different sources, she added. While answering a question of a reporter Dr Shamshad Akhtar said, “Once our imports will be open and 2nd review of IMF is done in November, we can potentially get payments from IMF, Asian development Bank, world bank and we can possibly get $6 billion inflows by the end of this year.”
When asked about figures of smuggling she said we don’t have any figures of inflation otherwise it would’ve been easy to eradicate it.
Dr Shamshad Akhtar also said that the caretaker government had adopted a holistic approach to address the pressing issues being faced by the economy and develop a roadmap with an aim to augment the macroeconomic management. “We will operate really holistically and consistently as a team. This will be an important change that incharges of all segments will work together,” she said while addressing a press conference. A principle had been adopted to look at the government as a whole, she added. Dr Shamshad said subcommittees of the cabinet had already been institutionalised, including Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP), and Cabinet Committee on Energy.
She said they were having intergovernmental discussions with one another and making sincere efforts to define a roadmap for augmenting the macroeconomic management in the country. She said the government was reinforcing fiscal stability and fiscal coordination with monetary policy as well as external policy, as it an anchor of macroeconomic management. She said the caretaker setup wanted to revive economy and for that they were working to “define the steps for economic jump start”. Along with that they were making efforts to enhance social safety net during the period when structural adjustment reforms programme was implemented.
“We will try to enhance the social safety net and more importantly financial inclusion will be expedited so that SME (small medium enterprises) and agriculture sectors, and citizens get an opportunity for financial empowerment through digitization.” According to the official, the government is now expecting to receive around $6 billion dollars in next few months from the different sources. The IMF would release around one billion dollars if it satisfies with the economic situation of the country. The government is expecting $1 billion from Islamic Development Bank, $450 million from the World Bank and $250 million from Asian Infrastructure Investment within the ongoing month. The country might receive $300 million to $500 million of Geneva pledges for flood affected areas and $1 billion to $2 billion minimum from UAE commercial banks, which will not rolled over during the last few months. In the July this year, the IMF Executive Board had approved a 9-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Pakistan for an amount of SDR2,250 million (about $3 billion, or 111 percent of quota) to support the authorities’ economic stabilization program. The Executive Board’s approval allowed for an immediate disbursement of SDR894 million (or about US$1.2 billion). Earlier, Saudi Arabia had released $2 billion and UAE deposited one billion dollars in State Bank of Pakistan account. Overall, the country had received $4.2 billion in July this year. The inflows had increased the country’s foreign exchange reserves in the range of $13 billion to $14 billion.