Economic indicators improved in first Q1, Finance Advisor claims

ISLAMABAD (Ahmed Mughal):- The Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has claimed that the economic indicators have been improved in first quarter of the current fiscal year.

While addressing Press Conference here in Islamabad, Shaikh said that the Govt has added more 0.8 million peoples in tax net during the last fiscal year.

He said that the Government has control twin deficits by adopting to control public expenses and increased income during the first quarter of the policy.

FATF grey list

Shaikh was also optimistic that Pakistan will come out from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force. He added that the country has implemented on more than 20 conditions out of the 27 conditions. He said that all institutions of the country are united against money laundering.

The FATF will look the Pakistani matter from 14-15 October in Paris. The FATF plenary meeting is being started today in Paris.

Contrary of the statement of the Advisor, sources closed with the process of compliance reports of FATF, say that Pakistan has done enough work in this regard. Although, Pakistan officials don’t expect that the FATF will put the country in its white or black list. They hope that the FATF is going to give more time to Pakistan and put it grey list.

The Asia Pacific Group had released final Mutual Evaluation Report on last week. The report showed that out of FATF’s 40 recommendations on curbing money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, Pakistan was fully compliant only on one. It was largely compliant on nine, partially compliant on 26 and non-compliant on four recommendations.

Economic indicators

The Finance Advisor said that the government has successfully to reduce budget deficit by 36 percent to Rs.476 billion in first quarter of the current fiscal year. He said that the Government also increased by 16 in first quarter. The FBR has collected Rs 963 billion and Rs.406 billion from non tax in the last three months. He said that the Govt received Rs 185 billion from profit of the State Bank and Rs.70 billion from PTA.

The Advisor said that the govt has also reduced trade deficit by 35 percent to $7.73 billion in first quarter.

The PTI Government has agreed with IMF to increase exports by 15.5 percent to $26.83 billion during the current fiscal year. It has also gave commitments to narrow its imports to $51.72 billion by 6 percent decrease in imports and 22 percent in merchandise trade deficit.

The PTI government also given commitment to the International Monetary Fund to increase 15 percent of exports during the fiscal year. Contrary of that target, the country merely increased by 2.75 percent in first quarter of the current fiscal year.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s exports increased to $5.52 billion by merely 2.75 percent in first quarter of the current fiscal year as compare to same period of the last fiscal year. The country’s imports were recorded at $11.25 billion in first three months as compare to the same period of the last fiscal year.

Due to unprecedented decrease in imports in first three months, the merchandise trade deficit narrowed by 35 percent to $5.73 billion in July to Sept 2019.

The Govt has During the quarter, the govt neither take new loan from state bank nor issued any supplementary/technical grant during the quarter.

In a query, he said that the Small and Medium Enterprises policy will be introduced next week. He said that the govt has not enough resources to support to every sectors. He also said that the government is considering the definition of export oriented sector as it wants to add new sectors.

Chairman FBR

On the occasion, the Chairman FBR said that the officials of the Pakistan and United Arab Emirates have meeting to control the misuse of Aqama. He said that Pakistan believe that Aqama should be used only for visit but not for hiding the illegal money.

He said that no one will be able to misuse the aqama any more. The OECD has also support the Pakistani viewpoint.

Under the law, the UAE doesn’t share any information of the persons who has UAE’s aqama.