Dar terms $1.5bn donation a ‘gift from friends’

Published March 15, 2014
Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar speaks during a press briefing on Pakistan Development Fund Project at PM Secretariat in Islamabad on Saturday. – Photo by APP
Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar speaks during a press briefing on Pakistan Development Fund Project at PM Secretariat in Islamabad on Saturday. – Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Without taking any names, Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Saturday said the donation of 1.5 billion dollars by ‘friendly countries’ was a “gift for the people of Pakistan.”

Chairing a meeting of Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) here, he said these friendly countries had full confidence in Pakistan and the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and donated $1.5 billion unconditionally in Pakistan Development Fund (PDF).

Clarifying the ‘rumours’ regarding the status of the donation, the minister said it was neither loan nor given in return for any services.

The amount should be accepted with thanks and not be made controversial, he added.

Foreign news agency Reuters had reported earlier this week that Saudi Arabia “loaned” $1.5 billion to Pakistan last month to help Islamabad shore up its foreign exchange reserves, meet debt-service obligations and undertake large energy and infrastructure projects.

The ‘friendly assistance’ has contributed to a sharp recovery of the Pakistani rupee, which rose to a nine-month high of 97.40 from 105.40 against the dollar between March 4 and 12, its strongest rally in 30 years.

Ishaq Dar said the amount would be spent on different development projects in various sectors, including energy, infrastructure, railways, communication and transportation.

“The most important project is linking Sindh with other areas of the country through Motorway. It is the initiative of PML-N government and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gives priority to its completion,” he added.

The minister said work on the Motorway project in the country was continuing at full pace, which would cost about Rs800 billion.

He said the economy had performed well during the first eight months of current fiscal year as was evident from major economic indicators, such as growth rate, inflation, foreign remittances, foreign exchange reserves, external trade and industrial growth.

The minister said tax collection during the period increased by 17.7 per cent as compared to the last year.

The provinces would receive more than Rs200 billion this year due to increased tax collection, he added.

He said Pakistan had been ranked second in the world in terms of business growth in a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) while it had potential to become the 18th largest economy of world by 2050, according to another report.

However, the government would try its best to realise the dream of 18th largest economy by 2025, he added.

Now you can follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

1971 in retrospect
Updated 28 Nov, 2022

1971 in retrospect

The point of no return came when the military launched Operation Searchlight in March 1971.
Gender-based violence
28 Nov, 2022

Gender-based violence

IT is a war without boundaries and seemingly without end. A UN report on femicide released on Nov 25, the...
Battle against dacoits
28 Nov, 2022

Battle against dacoits

THE Punjab police is clearly fighting a formidable, and so far losing, battle against the criminal gangs based in ...
Policy rate hike
Updated 27 Nov, 2022

Policy rate hike

The decision to hike the policy rate by 100bps is a step in the right direction, even if intended to appease the IMF.
Vawda’s reprieve
27 Nov, 2022

Vawda’s reprieve

FAISAL Vawda should be relieved. After years of running from a reckoning for submitting a false declaration in his...
Gujarat’s ghosts
27 Nov, 2022

Gujarat’s ghosts

TWO decades have passed since the bloody Gujarat riots, one of the worst spasms of anti-Muslim violence witnessed in...