Islamabad: Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar announced that European Union has granted Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status to Pakistan which is an accelerating tool for exports.
Addressing the concluding session of the 16th Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Conference, he said the government has taken some unpopular and difficult steps.
“Due to these measures and prudent polices of the government economic indicators are showing positive signs where as the foreign investors’ confidence to invest in Pakistan is also restored.”
He said due to corrective measures taken by government, budget deficit has been brought down to 2.2 per cent equal to Rs570 billion compared to 2.9 per cent equal to Rs690 billion last year.
The minister said revenue collection witnessed 17 per cent growth, adding that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected a tax revenue of Rs792 billion as against Rs679 billion last year.
Ishaq Dar said the government, during the first quarter of the current financial year, has released Rs143 billion against the total allocation of Rs340 billion under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
The minister said that figures regarding national economy would be announced on quarterly basis and made public to know about the performance of the economy.
He further said that exchange rate stability was gradually returning as it had improved during last days, adding that the government was determined to bring foreign exchange reserves up US$20 billion by the year 2016.
The government was closely monitoring the inflation and taking steps to bring it down to single digit to provide maximum relief to a common man in the country, he added.
Besides, he said that government has also enhanced allocation for social safety network and was bringing about 5.5 million families in social safety net by increasing the stipend money from Rs1000 to Rs1200.
The finance minister said that IFC has announced trade financing facility of $500 million while global rupee bond, Euro Bond $500 million would be launched and financial adviser in this regard would be appointed shortly.
He added that the second tranche of $137 million from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has been received.
The government was working on different power sector development projects to overcome the energy issues for rapid economic development, said Dar, adding that work on Nelum-Jehlum Hydro Project has been expedited and was expected to be completed by 2016.