TOKYO, Oct 13: Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Saturday said economic growth is picking up and is expected to be around four per cent in 2012-13.
He said this during a meeting with UK Secretary of State Justine Greening, on the sidelines of the annual meetings of WB and IMF being held in Tokyo.
Highlighting the socio-economic situation, the Minister said that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, true democratic transition is taking place and the economy is in good condition as “we have considerable foreign reserves.”
Shaikh said democracy is acquiring a strong foothold in Pakistan where all institutions are working efficiently and independently.
Despite some security problems, the government has succeeded in improving the economic conditions of the country, he added.
The Finance Minister said, “We have achieved an increase of 28 per cent in our exports and the GDP growth rate is expected to be around 4 per cent this year.”
He said that the government has eliminated 392 small levies from the country and the custom duty on imports has been slashed in order to open the economy to attract the foreign direct investment.
He said due to governments’ tax reforms, revenue collection has been doubled since 2008.
The Minister said that the government is pursuing regional balance in development focusing on Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA where special projects have been launched to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people.
Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State appreciated the reforms brought about by the present democratic government in Pakistan.
She said that United Kingdom will continue its support to Pakistan to improve the economy and reduce poverty. Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also held meeting with his Afghan counterpart.
Both the Ministers reviewed the economic relations between the two countries and agreed to continue further mutual cooperation in different spheres for the socio-economic development in the region.
He also participated in the Development Committee Meeting of the IMF.
The meeting was addressed by World Bank Group President Dr Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Ms Christine Lagarde and the Finance Ministers from the different regions.—APP