ISLAMABAD, April 26: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday predicted about 7.5 per cent GDP growth during the current fiscal that would take the country among top ten countries of Asia. Speaking at the performance award ceremony of Mutual Funds Association of Pakistan (MUFAP), the prime minister said the people should make investments through mutual funds and asset management companies, which were run by professionals instead of directly investing in stock markets, which moved with rumours.

He said internationally, the mutual funds and asset management companies normally have investments higher than bank deposits, but its rate in Pakistan was very limited and this market has to develop manifold.

He said the State Bank was also now giving away its reserves to the world market through asset management companies. He said the government would be launching shortly different schemes of mutual funds for pensioners, corporates and individuals.

Shaukat Aziz said that the macro side of the economy was robust and growth ratios were envisaged higher for the year.

This he said would be more than seven per cent and it may be even 7.5 per cent. This would make Pakistan among top ten high growth countries of Asia.

He listed five measures to evaluate a country’s strength, and in all of them Pakistan had done pretty well, he added.

First, the economy is seen as pretty good at home and abroad.

Second, is internal and external security, which is reflected in more investment pouring into the country and capital market.

Third is the area of diplomacy which is endorsed by the respect the country commands in the comity of nations and bright prospects of pivotal role in regional development and peace.

Fourth, is how the political process operates in a country. There is noticeable progress as the National Assembly and Senate are engaged in law making and debating national issues in an open and candid manner.

Last is the question of governance. The Prime Minister said that governance relates to the quality of management, quality of policy making and its implementation without any roadblocks. He said the country’s legal and regulatory systems are in operation and hold sway.

Continuing, he said that the ample proof of the economic health was the response to road shows of Eurobonds and more recently of Islamic instrument, Sukuk after country’s exit from IMF programme.

Further, he said that the approval of the Fiscal Responsibility law was a revolutionary measure, owned by a few developing countries. It also fixed the fiscal deficit, which could not be transgressed by anyone except for parliament.

Referring to investment of hefty amount of $1.2 billion in Sukuk bonds against a target of $300 million, the Prime Minister observed that foreign investors were under no obligation to invest their money unless they felt comfortable.

Appreciating the efforts of mutual funds, he noted these need to be enhanced. The growth of mutual funds was a good augury for the future. These need to be expanded and more professionals should come in. These are extremely popular in developed economies. For instance, he pointed out that in US the amount involved in mutual funds was bigger than the deposits in banks.

Later, the Prime Minister gave the performance excellence awards. The recipients were Arif Habib of Arif Habib Financial Services Group, Mohammed Ali Khoja of PICIC Growth Fund, Mahmud Ahmed of Safeway Mutual Fund, while in continuous excellence category the recipients were Tariq Iqbal, Chairman and MD NIT, and Amir Aizaz, Secretary, MUFAP.

Opinion

Editorial

Worsening hunger
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Worsening hunger

THAT the dollar liquidity crunch has started hurting the import of essential items such as vegetables and raw...
Bannu beheading
Updated 08 Dec, 2022

Bannu beheading

The state must take up the cudgels and neutralise barbarism before it spreads.
Smog misery
08 Dec, 2022

Smog misery

IF 2022 has taught us anything, it is that generations of reckless disregard for Mother Nature has accrued very ...
Disquiet on the western front
Updated 07 Dec, 2022

Disquiet on the western front

IT is very difficult for Pakistan to be delinked from Afghanistan, because of reasons of geography and history.
Fuel from Russia
07 Dec, 2022

Fuel from Russia

THE apparent headway made with Russia for the purchase of its crude oil, petrol and diesel at discounted prices is a...
More women SHOs
07 Dec, 2022

More women SHOs

IT is encouraging to see more employment avenues opening up for women in Pakistan, with an increasing number of...