Budget allocations for social safety net doubled: Hafeez

Dutch Queen lauds ease of doing business in Pakistan


our correspondent
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Tuesday briefed the Queen Maxima of Netherlands on the nature of public finance and mechanism for resource distribution between the centre and provinces. The adviser also presented details of allocation of funds and resources for protection of poor and marginalized sections of the population, said a press release issued by ministry of finance here. Queen Maxima of Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), visited the Finance Division.
During the meeting, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh gave the Queen a detailed overview of the economic situation in Pakistan with a focus on various policy steps and initiatives undertaken by the government to restore macroeconomic stability and the progress. He also briefed on economic stability achieved by the government in recent months in different sectors, particularly 40 % decrease in current account deficit, over 15 per cent growth in revenue collection, grant of incentives and loan facility to exporters, tax exemption on exports, investment of over US $1 billion foreign investment in local bond market.
Hafeez Shaikh informed that the government had doubled the budget allocations for social safety net, disbursement of direct financial support and stipends to women, youth and students, and also nearly 240 per cent growth had achieved in foreign direct investment during the last four months as compared to corresponding period last year.
The adviser also spoke on the issue of inflation and enhancing local productivity through various policy means and measures. The Queen thanked the Adviser for a comprehensive presentation of various aspects of the economy and shared her view on a range of economic issues, including the need for enhanced financial inclusion, better coordination among different tiers of the government, digitalization in government departments, role of innovations and information technology in enhancing transparency and efficiency in government and support to start-ups and new businesses.
Queen of Netherlands and UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development Queen Maxima on Tuesday stressed that financial inclusion is pivotal for the development and economy of Pakistan. Queen Maxima was addressing Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum in the federal capital here.
She said the financial inclusion will also create more opportunities for the people of Pakistan. Situation of ease of doing business in Pakistan has improved a great deal. The Queen of the Netherlands was appreciative of the government’s revised financial inclusion strategy targeting sixty-five million active digital accounts by 2023 including twenty million to be held by women. The Netherlands’ queen has been the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development since 2009.

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