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Govt decides to expedite process of privatisation, mulls privatising NBP, State Life

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Sunday the government has decided to expedite the process of privatisation of some state-owned enterprises as it is considering privatising National Bank of Pakistan and State Life Insurance.

Besides, he said the government will restructure the rest of the state-owned enterprises on a fast track basis to improve their performance.

Accompanied by Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, Dr Shaikh was addressing a press conference here today.

He said the incumbent government successfully cut down circular debt to less than Rs10 billion.

The PM aide said when the PTI government was catapulted into power, the country was heading towards bankruptcy but it took immediate steps to stablise the national economy, including shoring up fast-depleting foreign reserves, bringing down government expenses through austerity measures and cutting current account deficit.

Dr Shaikh said thus far, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has brought 600,000 new taxpayers into the tax net.

A new system has been in place since 23rd of the last month under which speedy refunds are given to the business community, he said, adding now refunds will be automatically ensured on 16th of every month.

He said the value of local currency has improved resulting in a benefit of Rs246 billion to the government in loans.

The adviser said an amount of Rs250 billion had been allocated for the development of agriculture sector. He said the government fixed the economic growth target of 2.4, which will be achieved easily due to prudent economic policies of the government.

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