- The reduction in the price of petrol would reduce the cost of transport and would make a difference in the prices of all items, says Sheikh.
- He said that the financial status of our people who are working in other countries will be affected, tax revenue will be affected due to the situation created by COVID-19.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh announced that from May 1, 2020, Pakistan will get the good news of a reduction in the prices of petroleum products.
Taking to a private news channel, the advisor said that there has been a historic decline in the price of oil in the world markets. He said that the price of petrol and diesel has also been reduced by Rs15 and Rs15 per liter last month.
On May 1st, the public will get good news as there will be a significant decrease in POL prices. He said that the reduction in the price of petrol would reduce the cost of transport and would make a difference in the prices of all items.
Sheikh said when the current PTI government came to power, there was a crisis, the exchequer was low and the debts were high. "The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the international community stood by us," he said.
"We have strictly controlled government spending, we have not borrowed from the SBP (State Bank of Pakistan), we have not given any supplementary grants, we have frozen the military budget and we have also reduced the civilian budget by Rs40 billion," informed Sheikh.
The advisor said that before the Coronavirus crisis, the economy of Pakistan was moving in a stable and positive direction, the rupee had stabilized and the current account deficit had been reduced from Rs20 billion to Rs3 billion.
"The Coronavirus came at a very bad time for us, the economy was hit, the world is locked down and the world economy will shrink by 3pc," he said.
He said that the financial status of our people who are working in other countries will be affected, tax revenue will be affected due to the situation created by COVID-19. The advisor informed that the tax revenue which reached Rs3,000 billion and was increasing at a rate of 17pc will now be affected.
Shaikh said that Pakistan exports that have started to grow after five years will also be affected. It is estimated that Pakistan’s economy was going to grow by 3pc now it will be 1-1.5pc.
Hafeez Sheikh said that in the current situation, our international friends have shown flexibility and are willing to give concessions. He said that there is an opportunity to do difficult things in the next two months which were not possible under normal circumstances.
"The IT sector will be least affected by the coronavirus. We have to work hard in IT. There is an opportunity to make some big decisions in the field of agriculture, improve the quality of batches in agriculture and improve water management," he said.
He said that the government will have to make big decisions in the agriculture sector soon including improvement in seeds, agricultural machinery, and others.
The advisor was of the view that the provinces were given the highest amount of funds in the history of the country.
Shaikh said that the government has given money in two places, one in form of concessions to the business for export, the other to the weaker section of the society after it announced a historic package of Rs180 billion, the highest amount in the history of the country.
Talking about the upcoming budget, the advisor said that it has been decided to bring in the budget in the first week of June.
"It will be a Corona budget. We want to give relief and hope to the people. We do not want to waste funds because it belongs to the public," he said.
Shaikh added that efforts are being made regarding the documentation of the economy, but not in such a way that businesses are affected. He said that people and the economy have to be protected from the corona crisis.
The Finance adviser said that economic development is possible only by enhancing business relations with other countries. He said exports should be increased whereas, imports should be curtailed.