Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Monday expressed the optimism that common man would shortly get the positive impacts of macroeconomic stability. He said that government was making strenuous efforts to achieve the set targets of national economic development during current financial year for overall social economic uplift in the country.
Addressing the Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum, he said that in order to achieve the macro-economic stability, the government had taken hard economic decision to maintain fiscal discipline. The event was jointly organized by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum (PIFF). Former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Chairperson Karandaaz Pakistan, Dr Shamshad Akhtar and Dean, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Professor Naoyuki Yoshino also spoke on the occasion.
The Adviser said that government had adopted austerity measures that helped in curtailing the menace of deficits and created additional space for enhanced spending on the socio-economic prosperity. We were able to achieve the current account surplus in October, 2019, he added. The adviser to PM expressed the hope that Gross Domestic Products target set by the government for this year, ought to be achieved with the expectation of surpassing the target.
He said that revenue generation was major challenge for the government and informed that revenue collection in the country was increased by 16 percent in fiscal year as compared to previous year, which showed the positive direction of the incumbent government. He said that Public Private Partnership was the prerequisite tool and was the only way forward to make new infrastructural projects for achieving the economic reform agenda set by the government.
He said that resources management was another important component for achieving the sustainable economic growth in the country. Hafeez said the government has facilitated the exporters and extended them the facility for increasing country’s exports, resultantly local export witnessed significant increase in the last four months of current financial year.
He said increasing exports trends and decreasing imports during last four months, did help in decrease of the trade deficit also. He said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) also increased in the last quarters as compared to the last FY in same period, which shown confidence of foreign investors on the current government.
He said that International Monetary Fund (IMF) was satisfied with the policies and accomplishment of the economic agenda of current government and agreed to enhance further cooperation in future as well. He said that this forum under the supervision of Asian Development Bank (ADB) would play important role in future, adding that ADB has history of economic and development cooperation with Pakistan, which would eventually increase in future.
He said the government has inherited the worst economic situation from the previous government, which required time to improve the economy. Talking to the media after the event, Dr. Sheikh said the government has prioritized the development agenda and fully concentrated to release the funds for Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). Now it’s all about the Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms to how they rapidly achieve the target of infrastructural development in the country, he said.
He said that projects of infrastructural development launched by the government, would create new employment opportunities for people. The adviser said that the entire social development program including Prime Minster Youth Loan Scheme was fully supported by the government and allocations for these all programs would be released on time.
He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has provide huge platform for the development and prosperity with cooperation between China and Pakistan and added there was a need to create awareness in the world regarding this mega projects for getting foreign investment in CPEC.
The adviser said that mega project of CPEC would provide connectivity and economic integration now within country but enhance the economic connectivity with regional countries. Dean, Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Professor Naoyuki Yoshino, stressed for Public Private Partnership for achieving the target of infrastructural development in Pakistan.
Former Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Chairperson Karandaaz Pakistan, Dr Shamshad Akhtar said that “Pakistan Innovative Finance Forum, partnership of Karandaz, ADPI and Asian Development Bank (ADP), is a unique platform to reflect on the ecosystem of financing for sustainable and growth. She said that Infrastructural and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development was at the nexus of economic growth, productive investment, and job creation and poverty reduction.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Hafeez Shaikh has said Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) is one of the best stock markets across the globe. He said confidence of the world is being restored in the Pakistani economy. The economy of the country has been put in the right direction introducing effective reforms. He said the PTI government is fully committed to good governance, transparency and restoring financial discipline to ensure ease of doing business in the country.
Hafeez Shaikh said PSX expanding its volume as the investors are gaining back their confidence due to the positive policies of the present government. The advisor said 16 percent improvement has been witnessed in revenue while non-tax revenue has been doubled due to the business-friendly policies of the government. He said subsidy is being provided to electricity, gas and loans while there is no tax on export.
The adviser said that the government has established a sustainable platform for economic development. He said that foreign direct investment and exports of the country have considerably increased. Hafeez Shaikh said investment in Pakistani Bonds has reached one billion dollars. He hoped that the country will surpass its economic growth target.