Convincing exporters to return money to country worked: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Government succeeded in checking currency speculation and convincing exporters for returning money to country to stabilise rupee. 
The government was not resorting to injecting reserves from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in order to stabilise the currency. 
We did not use SBP money to strengthen the rupee, but persuaded exporters to bring back their money to Pakistan and checked currency speculation, which resulted in the rising value of the rupee.  
Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Monday said, “The currency had been losing its value against the greenback when PML-N government came into power June last. Dollar slid from Rs 97 to a low of Rs 108 in December. Since then it has mounted a recovery and as the rupee was traded at 97.90 to a dollar”. 
Dar said revenue from tax collection, which had traditionally been problematic had increased by 17.7 percent and the budget deficit was down to 3.1 percent as compared to 4.1 percent in the first eight months of last year. 
Dar said price of onions, tomatoes and dollar had been brought down to the level when Nawaz Sharif took oath. It is a positive development for the economy and will boost investors’ confidence in Pakistan.
Overseas remittances by Pakistanis stood at $9.23 billion, representing an 11 percent growth compared with last year. 
Dar said exports have shown a 6.2 percent growth while the rate of inflation was currently 8.6 percent. We are on track to achieve six percent Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth rate in three years and Pakistan can emerge as a strong economy in the region, Dar said.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $6.7 billion bailout package for Pakistan in September 2013 to help achieve economic reforms, particularly to help energy sector.  
According to IMF Pakistan’s economy was picking up with growth expecting to reach about 3.1 percent in 2013-14 fiscal as compared to earlier estimate of 2.8 percent. IMF made an initial payment of $540 million and in November donor said during a monitoring visit Pakistan was broadly on track with reforms. In December 2013 Pakistan received $554 million as a second tranche of the loan.
Meanwhile chairing a meeting of Law Review Committee Dar said changes were needed in the laws for the sake of expeditious delivery of services to general public. 
We have to bring in changes in the laws to remove obstacles in this regard besides there was need to make administration capable of handling the new tasks and functions in the national development.  
Keeping in view the overall internal situation of the country and to improve performance of its administrative organs, the Committee should review existing laws diligently and formulate recommendations for consideration of the Nawaz Sharif.
The Committee discussed in detail the civil laws, governing civil service and administrative matters. The objective reviewing the existing laws, rules and regulations were to maximise efficiency of the civil service and to bring it in consonance with the modern day requirements. 
Zahid Hamid Minister for Science and Technology, Khawaja Zaheer special assistant to PM, Salman Butt Attorney General of Pakistan and senior officials of the federal government attended the meeting.

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