ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh says crucial decisions has made to correct the course of economy and stabilize it. Radio Pakistan reported.

Ecnomic Survey 2018-19

Unveiling the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Islamabad on Monday, he said Pakistan is endowed with natural resources including fertile land, long coast line, hardworking people, rich minerals and a number of other assets.

Country Total Debt

Hafeez Shaikh said the government inherited a weak economy with a total debt touching 31000 billion rupees which had taken over the previous years.

He said in the coming years, 3000 billion rupees will have to be paid in terms of interest only on these loans. 

The Advisor on Finance said 97 billion dollars were also taking as external loans while the wealth producing capacity of the country increased by zero percent due to no raise in exports in all these years. 

Worse situation of the Economy

This is an alarming situation for the country’s economy and the rupee is also facing a lot of pressure.

Hafeez Shaikh said 2300 billion rupees spent beyond income that resulted in printing more currency notes and leading towards inflation.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown the commitment to make difficult decisions in order to change things on permanent basis.

Hafeez Shaikh said the PTI government also took important decisions to correct the course of economy.

For this purpose, duties has increased on imports to restrict the current account deficit. Incentives has been giving to export industries to increase their share.

Loan from Friendly countries

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan through his personal efforts received 9.2 billion dollars from friendly countries. A deferred oil payment facility from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Islamic Development Banks has achieved.

It was also decided to forge a partnership with IMF to provide a sound footing to the economy and also show the commitment that we are ready for financial discipline. A successful partnership of 6.2 billion dollars with IMF was achieved.

Strengthened Public Institutions

The Advisor on Finance also said the public sector institutions will be strengthened.

He said in the past the public utility companies as well as transportation, insurance and other institutions also made hollow from inside due to corruption.

The money which was to be used on health, education and other facilities to people was rather spent on these white elephants to the tune of 1300 billion rupees.

The Advisor said effort has been making to put minimum burden on poor segments of the society.

He said 216 billion rupees have been earmarked in the next budget to provide subsidy to consumers who are using low consumption of electricity.

He said the amount for financial handouts to the poor is being doubled in the coming budget.

Priorities of the Govt

Enumerating the priorities of the government, Hafeez Sheikh said our priorities are to stabilize the economy addressing immediate threats, improve relations with foreign countries to reap benefits, strengthen domestic industry, give a pivotal focus to marginalized people, and convince the rich to pay their due share of taxes.

He said the tax collection is very low and a large segment of the population does not want to give its share in the form of taxes.

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