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Country’s economy in a comfort zone, says finance minister

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said on Wednesday that the economy of the country is taking off and is now in a comfort zone as far as its foreign exchange reserves are concerned. 
“With the over subscription of Eurobond, successful auction of 3G and 4G spectrums and improved economic indicators, the international confidence in Pakistan has increased to a level where we can build stronger economic base,” the finance minister said while chairing a meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) here. The meeting discussed various proposals presented by five different sub-groups.
The finance minister briefed the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on recently completed third successful review by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and on the latest economic indicators. 
The Industry and Trade sub-group was represented by A Razak Dawood and discussed in details the proposals for the diversification of the export base by promoting value-added exports like Engineering, IT, chemicals and food processing. 
The group further recommended deregulation of the economy by creating a level playing field to allow new entrants in the local manufacturing field as compared to the imported finished products. 
The group further discussed the proposal for simplifying the tariff structure and moving away from the import substitution to export led growth along with maintaining the transparency, consistency and simplicity of tariff structure.
The sub group on Resource Mobilization and Expenditure Management convened by Dr Miftah Ismail proposed that the tariff rationalisation process needs to be expedited to provide a level playing field to businesses. 
The sub-group further proposed that an automation process at the FBR might be improved by developing an integrated IT system to improve service delivery and enhance transparency.
On the Expenditure Management side, the sub group also suggested formation of a Task Force to analyse overall expenditure management in the Federal Government including throw forward in the capital budget and make suggestions for the improvement and elaborating the expenditures on social sector in the budget.
The Energy Sector sub group convened by Farooq Rahmatullah proposed the possibility of drilling over 100 wells in the next financial year for the development of Oil and Gas sector. Another proposal pertained to improvement in recovery mechanism by Ministry of Water and Power to collect the amount due to both public and private sector. 

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