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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday announced a further reduction in prices of various petroleum products. Talking to media persons here Saturday, the premier said the government wanted to reduce petrol price by as much as Rs 10 per litre but decided to increase sales tax on petrol due to huge losses the government was incurring under the head of sales tax. The rate of the existing General Sales Tax (GST) (22%) has been increased to 27%.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has stated the government has not accepted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) condition of currency devaluation. Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, he said that rupee value against other currencies would have been much lower if IMF condition in terms of exchange rate was accepted. The Finance Minister categorically denied that economic decisions were being taken under the IMF pressure or influence. He said that power sector distribution companies are being privatised due to their high losses of around 19 percent.
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has not announced any new date for hearing of a petition filed by Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) to return Rs 3.20 per unit to the consumers overbilled to them in December under the garb of fuel price mechanism, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. Earlier, the regulator was due to hear CPPA petition on January 29, 2015 but the government forced the Authority to cancel public hearing at a time when talks are under way with the IMF for sixth review in Dubai.
The government has appointed Arshad Chaudhry as Managing Director of National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC), well informed sources told Business Recorder. A couple of days ago, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif suspended Managing Director NTDC Tahir Mehmood and General Manager National Power Control Centre (NPCC) Muhammad Saleem for their failure to take timely measures to avert country wide power blackout.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the incidents of terrorism have strengthened his determination and resolve against lawlessness. He was addressing Elite Force passing-out at Bedian Police Training School Saturday. The Prime Minister stated that it would have been better if efforts towards curbing terrorism had commenced much earlier. Nawaz said he considered elimination of terrorism a challenge, adding that time would be needed to remove this malice.
The Finance Ministry has failed to provide funds to the Interior Ministry for implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) in spite of the passage of one month after the plan was approved by All Parties Conference (APC), it is learnt. The Ministry of Interior reportedly forwarded a proposal to the Finance Ministry seeking release of Rs 2 billion for implementation of NAP.
Greece's radical new government on Saturday began a search for European allies for its anti-austerity agenda, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again ruled out debt relief for Athens. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his maverick Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis are reaching out to France and Italy, whose centre-left governments are most likely to sympathise with its determination to end painful reforms.
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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln