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Finance Minister defends performance after criticism

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday said that the government is focused to strengthen economy and security of the country, and considerable achievements have been made in this regard.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad he not only defended his performance but also said stronger economy is imperative for strong security of the country.

The Minister said a stable economy results in creation of job opportunities besides development activities in the country.

Ishaq Dar said major challenges facing the country have been addressed. He said work is underway on power projects of ten thousand megawatt, of which 3600 megawatt power will be added in the national grid by the end of this year, which will end power load-shedding in the country.

He said completion of all power projects will make Pakistan self-sufficient in energy.

Giving financial figures of the last quarter, the Finance Minister said 765 billion rupees revenue has been collected during the first quarter of the current fiscal year while expenditure was 894 billion years. He said 570 billion rupees have been transferred to the provinces. He said the budget deficit was 324 billion rupees during the quarter.

He said that foreign exchange reserves stand at 18 billion dollars, including 14 billion dollars with State Bank of Pakistan and 4 billion rupees with the commercial banks.

To a question, the Finance Minister said tax net will be expanded that will improve tax collection in the country.

He said there is no need to go for IMF as the financial performance is being improved.

He said the issue of wrong calculations of debt has been raised with the World Bank and will be rectified soon.



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