Economy back on rails; showing positive indicators: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance, Revenue, Statistics and Economic Affairs Division Ishaq Dar on Thursday said due to efforts of the government the economy is back on rails showing positive economic indicators in areas of debt retirement, inflation, revenue collection and the GDP growth.

Giving policy statement in national Assembly, the minister said, “today international financial organizations and investors are reposing confidence in Pakistan and we are moving ahead as per our budgetary targets”.

“Our revenue collection stands at Rs1745 billion for last ten months which is 15.6 percent higher against the corresponding period last year while fiscal deficit is four percent which is very much within the target projected in the budget”, he added.

The minister said, remittances by expatriate Pakistanis have increased to US$ 12.89 billion during the last ten months from US$ 11.5 billion for the corresponding period last year.

About exports, he said, these have increased to US$ 19.11 billion in ten months against the US$ 18.02 billion for the same period during last fiscal showing an increase of 6.1 percent. Similarly, imports increased just by (.85 percent that is less than one percent) from previous years figure of US$ 32.76 billion to US$ 33.04 billion.

By this way, he said, the trade deficit has decreased to US$ 13.93 billion in first ten months this year from US$ 14.74 billion during first ten months of last year.

He said foreign exchange reserves are now touching the US$ 13 billion figure with US$ eight billion as reserves of central bank and US$ 4.9 billion reserves of the commercial banks.

The minister said, inflation rate remained in single digit with 8.6 percent while GDP growth rate remained 4.1 percent and the international community is convinced that inflation had come down while growth rate is appreciating.

He said new loans were necessary to retire the old loans because many experts were predicting that Pakistan will default by June 2014 and unfortunately some were talking about total collapse of the country. “But, now we have moved far away from default like situation and the international institution have twice revised their targets about growth and inflation”.

He envisaged to move over four percent in GDP growth rate in next year and then to five percent in upcoming year that paved way towards registering of more firms in Pakistan bringing the figure to 3655 showing 14 percent increase.

About private sector loans, he said, during first ten months of this fiscal Rs320 billion were available as debt to private sector against Rs141 billion availability during corresponding period last year. Similarly credit limits for the agricultural sector has been increased to Rs380 billion from the previous Rs336 billion.