ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Muhammad Ishaq Dar expressed the hope that Pakistan would soon become 11th the biggest economy due to comprehensive measures taken by the government.
Talking to a private TV channel, he said that international economic rating agencies were expressing positive outlook of country’s economy.
Dar said that PML-N government had inherited $9 billion oan from previous regimes, which had to be returned.
He was of the view that government had taken loans from International Monetary Fund to pay the installments for saving the country from becoming a defaulter.
He said that Pakistan loan was Rs2,946 billion rupees till 1999, but in previous regimes it piled up to more than Rs. 12,000 billion.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was committed to put the country in right direction, he said and added that budget was made according to the economic agenda of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N).
The minister said that PML-N government was adhering to the policy of austerity as Prime Minister’s discretionary funds were stopped and bout 40 percent expenditures of Prime Minister’s House were also reduced in this regard.
Electricity tariff was not increased in the last 15 months by previsou regimes to get political benefits, he said adding that electricity prices had direct impact on price hike.
Dar said that government had ensured the payment of circular debt amounting to 503 billion rupees to overcome energy crisis. About 1700 MW electricity was included in the national grid station, he added.
Responding a question, he said that on the direction of the PM, the government was giving subsidy of billion rupees to the domestic users of electricity, saying that users of 200 units were exempted from new raise in price of electricity.
The minister said that Prime Minister had stressed American leadership to provide access to its markets for boosting trade and economic activities.
He said that investment activities in the country would provide employment opportunities to the people.
The Minister said that government was providing subsidy amounting to Rs. 175 billion on diesel.
To another question, Ishaq Dar said that country’s economy was heading towards recovery, adding that during previous month prices of 33 basic commodities were sustained, prices of 7 items were reduced while increase was witnessed in prices of 13 items.
To another question, he said that about 8500 MW electricity would be included in national grid station during the next year as government was working on mega power projects.
He said that construction of two mega water sector development projects including Dasu and Diamir Bhasha Dams would help overcome energy crisis and water shortage in the country.