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Govt on mission to ‘rescue’ economy from current crisis: minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Revenue Muhammad Hammad Azhar has said the government’s priority is to rescue the economy from the current crisis.

Responding to points raised by various members of the National Assembly on Supplementary Finance Bill, he said the government’s economic policy would not be financed by the deficit financing.

He said the government wanted growth with development and intend to bring improvement in the social sector.

Regulatory duties had been imposed on luxury items to suppress imports and the same modus operandi was used by the previous governments to compress them.

The state minister said the budgetary proposals envisage steps to help generating over fifty percent of revenue from enforcement measures and going after the non-filers and tax evaders.

He also criticized PML-N government for pushing the country into debt trap and said the national kitty was total empty due to step taken by the previous government. He said the present government had to make the debt servicing.

He said the state-owned enterprises were enduring the losses of Rs500 billion annually and the previous government had not mentioned it.

He said previous government had also taken benefit from decreased prices of oil in the international market. He said the current account deficit was widened due to decrease in exports and increase in import.

He also disagreed with the figure quoted by the member of PML-N Ayesha Ghous Pasha and asked her to recount those again. The minister said regulatory duty had been imposed on the import of unnecessary items to benefit the country’s economy.

Taking part in the debate, Ayesha Ghous said the new budgetary measures would have negative impact on the overall growth rate. Nafeesa Shah of PPP said increase in the prices of gas and power would trigger tsunami of inflation.

Shahnaz Wazir Baloch regretted that no allocation had been made in the mini budget for the maternal health.

Participating in the debate Syed Naveed Qamar criticized hike in the prices of natural gas, power, increasing tax on bank transactions saying the government had done nothing to overcome budget deficit. Only cosmetic measures were taken in this regard.

He said indeed he failed to understand the direction of the government as the measures announced so far were too ambiguous and perplexing.

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