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Economic stabilization: Steps yielding positive results, says Shamshad

  • Discussion with IMF to control expenditure is under way, adds the caretaker minister
Published September 16, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar said on Friday the government’s steps to stabilize the economy are yielding positive results and the economy is performing well now.

Addressing a press conference along with Caretaker Minister for Power and Energy, Muhammad Ali, and Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, she shared a brief of measures taken by the caretaker government to improve the country’s economic condition and their impact.

“There are some initial signs of economic recovery, though some of them are just beginning. Discussion with IMF to control expenditure is under way. However, no deduction has been made in funds of provinces,” she added.

Giving details of the prevailing economic condition, the Minister for Finance said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shown a major decline which proves that Pakistan has come out of the difficult position. She said the productive sector has also registered improvement while the services sector is vibrant.

“The Consumer Price Index (CPI) had shown a decline from May figures, down from 38 per cent to 27.3 percent which is an important indicator that we have started to come out of difficulty and there would be price stability going forward,” she continued.

Shamshad Akhtar said consultations with the donor agencies are underway, and expressed the hope that Pakistan will get immediate fast flow in some sectors besides normal flow of funds.

Economic development: Minister explains criticality of STZs, SEZs

The caretaker government had inherited a set of challenges after coming into power but it was not shying away and was dealing prudently by controlling expenditures and increasing revenues and the situation would improve this way, she said.

“We are making our best efforts for cumulative assistance from the World Bank up to $ 2 billion. We are also expecting to get dollar inflows from Asian Development Bank in time,” she added.

The Finance Minister further stated that position of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is also improving while the country’s reserves are stable now. She said ongoing anti-smuggling drive has also helped to stable dollar position in the county.

The government had spoken to international donors including the world Bank and the ADB and “we are trying to expedite cumulative assistance from the world Bank at $2 billion. The ADB would also fast track RISE programme disbursement,” she stated.

She further maintained that the caretaker government has inherited many economic challenges but efforts are on to resolve those challenges.

“We are cutting costs to meet economic challenges and increasing tax collection to increase revenue,” she said, adding that there is distortion in the taxation system which will be sorted out through reforms in the FBR.

She said that the government is formulating a strategy to increase agricultural production adding that State Bank did not allow interest rates to rise which will also help in reducing inflation.

Replying to a question, she said that foreign exchange reserves are stabilizing, and that reforms are being done in the operation of exchange companies. She said government has released Rs 20 billion out of Rs 80 billion to facilitate remittances.

With the operation of law enforcing agencies against dollar smuggling, exchange rate has also improved.

“No country in the world allows anyone to play with the exchange rate of its currency. The government is preventing dollars’ smuggling to keep exchange rate stable. Actions will be taken against such exchange companies which are doing illegal work,” Caretaker Finance Minister added.

Small Exchange Companies have been asked to merge with big companies.

The country’s productive sectors have shown improvement. In agriculture sector, the government hopes that results will be good, both in the major and minor crops and improved agriculture output would improve growth prospects.

Some people have been complaining about the difficulties being faced by industries and the data we reviewed showed there was some improvement. As activity is picking up, the situation of industries is improving and cement was one of them. The services sector is very vibrant at this stage and it has linkages with other sectors as well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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zaya zaya Sep 16, 2023 03:14am
Communist Agenda "Small Exchange Companies have been asked to merge with big companies." This statement does not reflect free market, big sharks should eat the little fish! Is that a solution or a fix!!???
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zaya zaya Sep 16, 2023 03:16am
Talking about the past to now... "The country’s productive sectors have shown improvement." Then contradicts by saying it will happen in the Future, expectations, not real improvement is it, next statement below makes it false... "In agriculture sector, the government hopes that results will be good, both in the major and minor crops and improved agriculture output would improve growth prospects."
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KU Sep 16, 2023 11:11am
Must be yielding results in the cozy offices of the government and the numbers being concocted to satisfy everyone, but one wonders why mothers are crying helplessly for food and fathers are unable to pay high electricity bills or are unable to buy medicines or faced with unemployment due to closed businesses or factories. In truth, the government's efforts are yielding only pain and misery for the people.
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Khaja Sep 16, 2023 12:38pm
Same old story to tell. "Ghissa Pitta Biyaniya". Unable to understand these so called Indexesdata ever, that have no correlation with the improvement of living standards of mass public. keep on raising taxes with very small chunk of poupulation to pay that criminial hike. They always secured the priviliged class with no cut in facilites and other things like tax evasions, smuggling, corruption, no structural changes because they themselves belong to that class. In her last speech in Senate, she "Dr. Shamshad Akhtar" expressed her deep concern on the current derailing situation but along with she said that we cannot do anything with the cut in facilities and structural change of priviliged as as they have been enjoying it since decades. Moral of the story is that rather get oursleves fool on these so called speeches and promises made by them since decades, we need to do a root-cause analysis and strictly aware oursleves on the working of estalished structure/system of Pakistan.
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Shahid Khan Sep 16, 2023 12:38pm
Results can only be felt in AC offices. We are dying on roads
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Mehboob Ali Lalani Sep 16, 2023 01:08pm
We need to come out of illusion. Petroleum prices are once again enhanced giving adverse push to the market already sluggish with bearish trend. Economy can only boom if consumers are empowered to buy products in the market. Right now bigger chunk of population are straightjackets, not able to buy daily necessities. The government may kindly look into this sympathetically and take out of box solution.
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Mohammed Ramzan Sep 16, 2023 01:20pm
If these are the drastic decisions then what has been happening for the last 76 years. The army, politicians,judges and the law enforcing agencies are the culprit and under who's blessing all the smuggling is going on. The pot is empty so there is no point guarding it. Just wait for the inevitable, which is bankruptcy unless election or something drastic happens in pakistan. It was unthinkable for me to even imagine that Pakistan Army is its worse enemy.
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Johnny Walker Sep 16, 2023 01:30pm
Start hanging the corrupt after extremely short summary public trials. Start with the head honchos of each agency/department. No appeals, no leniency. Within months the country will see improvement in the lives off the poor.
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XYZ Sep 16, 2023 03:28pm
What planet she is on?
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Hilarious Sep 16, 2023 03:50pm
The first step is for the people to change, no one is willing to change since everyone is perfect, it’s the other guy that needs to change. Once the people change, other changes will fall into place, most people in the country are out to scam unfortunately, just to make a quick buck, a mosque on every corner, a beard on every face, a devil in every heart, unfortunately. People have the impression in the country for whatever reason, that the world owes them something, I am not sure what would give that impression apart from inflated egos, but honestly, the world owes the country nothing and inflated egos need to deflate because we lack even the basic etiquette to keep our surroundings clean, let alone be able to do anything else.
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Boll Sep 16, 2023 08:28pm
@XYZ, General.
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