National economy improving, Hafeez tells NA

ISLAMABAD – Federal minister for Finance Revenue, Planning and Development Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh has informed the National Assembly that the overall economic situation of the country is improving during the current fiscal year 2011-12.
In a written statement here on Thursday, the minister told that the GDP for the year 2011-12 is expected to be 4 per cent against 2.4 percent achieved last year. Mojor crops and large manufacturing are performing well. He stated that the inflation has declined to 10.9 percent during the first half of this year compared to 14.3 per cent observed during the same period last year.
“On account of increase in both energy prices and money supply, the inflation will increase in coming months but for the entire year 2011-12 may be less than 14 percent experienced last year” the Finance Minister stated.
He further informed that the tax collection by FBR during July-Dec 2011 at Rs. 841 billion increased by 27 percent against Rs. 662 billion achieved during the same period last year. The target of Rs. 1952 billion for the whole year will be achieved. However, on account of loses of PSEs and electricity and community subsidies, the budget deficit for the yea may exceed the target of 4.7 percent of GDP but will remain below 6.6 percent observed last year.
Regarding the current account deficit the minister stated that it deteriorated during 1st half of this year. Import at US 19.7 billion dollar grew at a faster rate (16.6 percent) than exports at US 12.1 dollar. Current Account Deficit during this period reached to US 2.1 billion dollar in spite of increase in remittances by- 18.8 percent to US 6.3 billion dollars. He added that current account deficit id expected to US 4 billion dollar for the whole year mainly on account of deceleration in the growth of export and limited inflow of foreign flows.
To another question regarding loans being obtained by the Government, the Minster in a written statement informed that the Government obtained only Rs. 734.4 billion from local banking sources up to January 2012.
To a question regarding decreasing value of Pak rupee, the minister said that the Pakistani rupee has depreciated by 5.2 per cent in the nine months of current fiscal year.

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