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Caretaker setup is ‘empowered’ to bring economic reforms: Solangi

  • Interim govt's key ministers hold press conference on SIFC meeting
Published September 8, 2023

Information minister Murtaza Solangi on Friday said the caretaker setup is empowered to take key economic decisions as well as to bring reforms where needed.

He said that during a press conference of key ministers of the interim government on a meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

Addressing the presser were also caretaker Finance minister Shamshad Akhtar, Commerce minister Gohar Ejaz, and Power minister Mohammad Ali.

Solangi said the caretaker government is mandated for policy intervention, as a joint session in the previous PDM-led government has passed the Election (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which provided the interim setup additional powers to take important economic decisions.

“Today’s SIFC meeting was focused on reducing government’s expenditures and how to bring down the circular debt. Removing obstacles to foreign investment and bringing improvement in the performance of the state-owned enterprises (SOE) was also discussed,” he said.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar also informed about the SIFC meeting via a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Today, [I] chaired the meeting of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) Apex Committee. The army chief, federal cabinet members, provincial chief ministers, and officials were present. Throughout the day-long session, various ministries provided briefings aimed at alleviating Pakistan’s economic challenges,“ he wrote.

The meeting would continue tomorrow as well, he added.

$6 billion cumulative inflows expected: Finance czar

Answering a question about dollar inflows during the press conference, Shamshad Akhtar said she couldn’t give an exact number, but is expecting cumulative inflows of $6 billion in the full-year.

“The government is in touch with multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the mission of International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also due in November, which will pave the way for fresh dollar inflows in the country, she said.

Akhtar informed that removing restrictions from imports to expand economy was also discussed during the meeting. “Pakistan is an import-intensive country,” she said.

The minister said the government is making efforts to revive the economy and discussions are being held to take necessary steps to jumpstart the economy.

“All sections of economy will now work as a whole. This will be an important change,” she said.

Akhtar said the government would make a state-owned enterprises (SOEs) policy and establish a central monitoring unit that would help the ministers strengthen their corporate governance of the SOEs and see the entities that are ready for privatisation.

“The debt burden of the SOEs, which is on banks, will also be diversified through capital market,” she said.

Target is to increase exports, create more jobs: Commerce minister

Commerce minister Gohar Ejaz said the restrictions on imports caused major supply chain issue in the country, which led to inflation and layoffs.

“Today, the dollar rate is over Rs300, which can be brought down to Rs250 through more exports,” he said.

The minister said industries could revive when there is no shortage of raw materials and smuggling is also curbed.

Making power prices competitive for the industries and ensuring availability of gas were included in the proposals he gave during the meeting, the minister added.

“Pakistan’s economy has shrunk by up to $30 billion,” he said. “We need to expand our economy which can be done be reviving the industries.”

Energy minister Muhammad Ali said discussions were made regarding measures to curb electricity theft and bring governance reforms in Discos.

The meeting also discussed minimising capacity charges to power producers, he added.

He said the interim government is in discussion with the IMF about the dividend plug-in back scheme, which is expected to cater to mounting debt crisis.


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AmirSh. Sep 08, 2023 09:13pm
Caption picture shows you-how much power they have? Their only job is to take care of timely, transparent and free elections. What a country?
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KhanRA Sep 08, 2023 09:43pm
If they can push through the much needed and painful economic and social reforms that Pakistan desperately needs, then I’d be willing to look away from the fact that they are zombies controlled by the Army.
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TidBit Sep 08, 2023 10:55pm
You have one job. Hold free and fair elections. You are acting as if you are going to rule Pakistan for 100 years
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