Shamshad sees positive signs of economic recovery

Finance minister says action to control dollar smuggling won’t bother IMF

ISLAMABAD  -  Caretaker Federal Min­ister for Finance and Revenue Dr Shamshad Akhtar on Friday said that International Mon­etary Fund (IMF) would have no objection on the ongoing operations against smuggling of US dollars and curren­cy exchange reforms, as the State Bank of Paki­stan is not intervening in market to control the currency value. 

Addressing a press conference along with Caretaker Minister for Power and Energy Mu­hammad Ali and Minis­ter for Information and 

Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi here yesterday, the fi­nance minister said that the IMF would appreciate the steps taken for the improvement in the currency mar­ket. She informed that the government would achieve the economic targets set with the IMF including tax col­lection for the current fiscal year. She hinted to slash the public sector development programme (PSDP) and add­ed the government is reviewing the PSDP, which would be decided with the consultation of the provinces. 

The finance minister said that Rs80 billion have been allocated for initiatives to improve remittances through formal channels, adding that Rs20 billion out of this amount have been released to banks for this purpose.

She said that the caretaker government has inherited number of challenges. However, it is not worried and is “dealing” with them. The caretaker government is now trying to manage the country’s challenges prudent­ly by controlling expenditures and enhancing revenue. “Through this, the situation will improve.”

She further said that the economic indicators have started performing well following the government’s measures to stabilize the economy. She explained that the government is facing several challenges. Howev­er, the country has come out of some difficulties, says the caretaker finance minister. She informed that infla­tion measured through Consumer Price Index (CPI) has reduced from 38 percent to 27 percent in last month, proved that we have come out of the difficult position. She said the productive sector has also registered im­provement while the services sector is vibrant. 

Shamshad Akhtar further said that the government is holding negotiations with the donor agencies for the im­mediate inflows of dollars in the country. We are making our best efforts for a cumulative assistance of the World Bank up to $2 billion, she added. The position of Foreign Direct Investments is also improving while the coun­try’s reserves are stable now.

Agriculture production is expected to increase, she said and added that the services sector is also on the way to improvement. She said that while some peo­ple complained about the difficulties being faced by in­dustries, the government had examined the data which showed that there some improvement in some produc­tive sectors. “As activity is picking up, the situation of in­dustries is also improving.”

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