ISLAMABAD: While claiming that the economy has been put on the right track, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that the appointment of Shaukat Tarin as finance minister is aimed at controlling inflation and increasing economic growth rate.
In a live TV programme — Apka Wazeer-e-Azam Apke Saath — during which he took telephone calls from citizens, the prime minister said key economic indicators were showing positive trend despite a third wave of Covid-19 that badly hit world’s stable economies.
Mr Khan said people were criticising the government every day creating disappointment despite the fact that economy of the country was stabilising. “When the economy of India and even the United States was going down due to Covid-19, we have saved both—our people and economy due to a sagacious strategy to deal with the situation,” he added.
“The government has achieved remarkable economic growth in diverse sectors,” he said, adding that through reforms the economic losses of public corporations had been reduced from Rs286 billion to Rs143bn, the current account deficit remained in surplus in the first 10 months of this fiscal year and the foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased to $15.6bn.
Says key economic indicators showing positive trend
He said the country has witnessed record sales of automobiles, motorcycles and tractors.
The prime minister acknowledged that the financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and China also helped Pakistan gain economic stability.
Mr Khan said now the rupee had strengthened against the dollar at Rs152, exports increased by 13.5pc, the Eurobond issue helped raise $2.5bn and the revenue of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) rose by 11pc.
The textile and cement industries, he said, witnessed a boom, while the local car manufacturing was recorded at 18pc. The stock exchange showed a bullish trend by 66pc increase as per Bloomberg and the information technology exports increased by 44pc.
He said that the government had given Rs1.1 trillion additional subsidy to farmers in the current fiscal year.
The yields of major crops like wheat, rice, corn and pulses have increased due to incentives being given for the first to the farmers. “About Rs1,100bn was given to the farmers in lieu of direct subsidy on seeds and fertilisers, which resulted in high production of sugarcane and corn by 22pc and 27pc respectively,” he added.He said Pakistan had immense potential in the agriculture sector and the government would announce reforms every two weeks aimed at introducing advanced cultivation techniques by directly facilitating the farmers.
The prime minister said 65pc farmers owned less than five acres and the government wanted to help them through incentives such as Kisaan Card and subsidy. The private sector would be involved in technique learning of farmers and seed development, he added.
Mr Khan said incentives in the housing sector had encouraged economic activity and the banks were offering loans for the construction of houses.
Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2021