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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government would fulfil its current programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), besides ensuring all possible facilitation to the exporters to boost the country’s exports.

He said the incumbent government had inherited an economy in ruins and in a miserable situation, but with consistent hard work, they had stabilized it.

The prime minister was addressing a high-level meeting over the economic situation held in the PM House. The meeting was attended by ministers for finance, economic division, planning, defence, the State Bank of Pakistan governor, presidents of Habib Bank and Alflah Bank, and other relevant authorities, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The meeting expressed concerns that during the tenure of the former government, the economic situation of the country had been in tatters with the worst mismanagement and a destruction-like situation.

When the former government came to power, the GDP during 2018, stood at 6.1 per cent, but instead of improving it, bad governance and economic mismanagement pushed the economy into a stalemate.

IMF says discussions with Pakistan 'productive', looks forward to continuing dialogue

The meeting was of the view that in 2018, the public debt was Rs 25 trillion which during March 2022 and after a period of 42 months reached Rs 44.5 trillion. Similarly, the incumbent government also inherited the economic indicators in a bad shape.

It also shared that due to floods, the economic turnaround efforts felt the shocks, but still the government helped 33 million people despite the economic difficulties.

The meeting resolved that they would steer the country out of the economic challenges gradually like it had controlled the shortage of edibles, crops, and other essential goods during the period of floods.

During the meeting, the country’s economic situation was deliberated comprehensively, besides the IMF ninth review, and steps to control the current account deficit were also discussed.

The prime minister, while reiterating to complete the IMF programme, directed the relevant authorities to take necessary steps to control the financial and current account deficits.

He also underlined the need for focusing on the required policy and administrative reforms in that regard. The prime minister also directed for provision of all facilities to the exporters, necessary facilities at ports, identification of new markets, besides support in the import of raw material and machinery.

He said currently, the total volume of IT export was $2 billion which could be taken to $5 billion easily by extending facilities to entrepreneurs and startups.

The prime minister observed that overseas Pakistanis should be encouraged to send their remittances to the county through banking channels with the provision of facilities. He also stressed on reforms in the energy sector with full concentration, adding that reduction in the circular debt was among the government’s top priorities.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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