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Hammad Azhar says country’s economy moving towards stability before pandemic crisis

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, said on Wednesday that the country’s economy was moving towards stability before it was affected by coronavirus pandemic, ARY News reported.

Hammad Azhar was briefing a report regarding the budget recommendations presented before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance by the law and justice’s committee of the Upper House in a session chaired by Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.

He said that the concerned committee headed by Farooq Naek has presented best recommendations which would be considered by the government. It had been alleged earlier that the national economy was not stabilising before the coronavirus pandemic which was beyond facts, said Azhar.

The federal minister detailed that the country’s imports were increased up to 20 per cent before the pandemic crisis which later affected the GDP up to 6 per cent. The federal government had dispatched Rs1200 billion financial package amid coronavirus crisis which also includes direct supplies of personal protection equipment (PPEs) to the hospitals of all provinces besides distributing cash among 16 million deserving families.

The federal government had paid three-month utility bills of 2.5 million small business owners and postponed Rs100 billion worth bills, as well as record procurement of wheat. He criticised that such allegations were levelled only for point-scoring.

Azhar said that the economic crisis was a result of COVID-19 lockdown. He criticised that Pakistan listed into the grey list of FATF due to mishandling of the past government.

The national economy suffered fewer impacts of coronavirus pandemic as compared to the other countries around the world. He further detailed that the federal government allocated Rs75 billion funds for PPEs and soon the protection equipment will be exported. Rs280 billion expenditures were made in wheat procurement, he added.

He added that the government had not imposed any tax in the budget 2020-21 despite facing a crisis.

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