PM Shehbaz vows measures to cut reliance on imported fuel

Published July 30, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets a delegation of the Pakistan America Business Forum in Islamabad on Friday. — PID website
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets a delegation of the Pakistan America Business Forum in Islamabad on Friday. — PID website

ISLAMABAD: Vowing to stabilise crippling economy, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday the government would soon launch 6,000MW to 7,000MW solar energy projects to cut dependence on imported fuel.

The prime minister also said that promotion of foreign investment was one of the top priorities of the government. “Short-term and long-term plans would be implemented to cut dependence on imported fuel,” the PM said while talking to a delegation of the Pakistan America Business Forum.

He said a project to generate 7,000 megawatts through renewable sources was in the offing.

Mr Sharif said the government was committed to ensuring favourable conditions for foreign investors with the aim to strengthen the national economy.

The delegation included Pakistan America Business Forum Secretary General Waqar Khan, President Riaz Hussain and Senior Vice President Anwar Azam. Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi and senior officials also attended the meeting.

Value of dollar would drop to Rs190 after approval of IMF package, NA assured

PM Sharif said the coalition came to power during tough times with an objective to uphold the sanctity of state over politics. He mentioned that the government took difficult decisions to revive the economy and save the country from default. He held the previous government responsible for damaging the economy.

However, he added, efforts were afoot to ensure development of the country through hard work.

As part of austerity measures, he mentioned imposition of ban on import of luxury goods as well as reduction of unnecessary government expenditure.

The delegates appreciated the measures taken by Prime Minister Sharif for restoration of economy, besides extending facilities to export industry and addressing the problems of overseas Pakistanis.

They apprised the premier about their problems and also gave feedback on various related matters.

The prime minister instructed the authorities concerned to resolve their problems on priority basis and assured them of every possible facilitation by the government.

‘Dollar to drop to Rs190’

Meanwhile, parliamentary secretary for finance and revenue Rana Mohammad Ishaq on Friday claimed that the value of the dollar would come down to Rs190 after the approval of IMF package.

The claim was made by the parliamentary secretary while responding to a Call Attention Notice (CAN) moved by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) members “regarding increase in the prices of edible items” on the day Pakistani rupee fell to an all-time low in the open market, trading as high as 250 against the dollar, according to data shared by the Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP).

“This CAN is based on facts. There is price-hike in the country and people belonging to every class are perturbed,” said Mr Ishaq after PPP lawmaker Qadir Khan Mandokhail moved the notice.

“We will get IMF (International Monetary Fund) programme next month. After it the [US] dollar will come down to Rs190. We expect that it will come down to Rs190-200,” he said.

The parliamentary secretary, who was responding on behalf of Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, first stated that price-hike was a global phenomenon and then blasted the previous Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for “ruining” the country’s economy.

Later, when the movers of the notice castigated the government against blaming the past rulers for the price hike, Mr Ishaq said it was the responsibility of the provinces to maintain and control prices, saying that the federal government was coordinating with the provincial authorities.

Later, parliamentary secretary for law and justice Mehnaz Akbar Aziz presented the Inter-Governmental Commercial Transa­ctions Bill 2022.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2022

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