Overseas Pakistanis’ have confidence in economic policies, claims Hafeez

WASHINGTON: Pakistan will receive a record $ 13.5 billion in foreign remittances in a sign of overseas Pakistanis’ confidence in the economic policies of the government, which have now put the national economy on path to stability and growth, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Monday.

Wrapping up a weeklong visit to Washington, during which he led Pakistani delegation to the annual IMF-World Bank spring gathering, the finance minister said Islamabad’s policies are yielding results despite soaring international oil prices and uncertain global economic situation this year Pakistan’s economy will grow at 4 per cent of GDP, the best in last five years.

“Overseas Pakistanis posing confidence in Pakistan will send $ 13.5 billion this year, reflecting a 21 per cent increase from last year’s $ 11.2 billion,” the finance minister said at a Press conference.

Dr Shaikh, who attended several World Bank and IMF forums and met with his counterparts from other countries as well as U.S. officials, said during his interactions, he came away with a positive feedback and appreciation for the government’s policies.

He recounted a host of positive indicators including six percent expansion in exports, which follow a 30 per cent increase in exports last year, and a jump of 25 percent in revenue collection in the last nine months from July to March.

Besides a check on inflation and government austerity drive, have also helped ease pressures on the economy.

At the same time, he said, Pakistan is fulfilling its debt repayment obligations and paying back an amount of $ 1.2 billion to the International Monetary Fund this year.

Signifying confidence in Pakistan’s ability to bring development to its people, the World Bank will give an unprecedented $ 1.8 billion dollars to the country this year and the International Finance Corporation’s profile will reach one billion dollars for projects in energy, agricultural, financial, housing , agricultural storage areas.

In addition, the finance minister said, Asian Development Bank has reaffirmed its support for financing of Diamber-Basha Dam.

The finance minister also met with senior U.S. officials during the visit and discussed bilateral cooperation. APP