Budgetary deficit down to Rs 815bn: Dar


ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar has said the economy was on the upsurge and the government borrowing for budgetary support has narrowed down from Rs 1046 billion in first nine of the last financial year to Rs 815 billion this year. He said exports have increased by 6.1% and inflation is as per target at 8.6%.
Addressing a news conference here Wednesday in his return from Washington, the Finance Minister said revenue collection went up by 16.4% in the first nine months of the current financial year as against same period last year. He said as against Rs 1353.3 billion during first nine months of the last financial year, the collection during same period this year was Rs 1574.6 billion.
The minister said 3188 new companies were registered this year as against 2883 companies last year, showing an increase of over 10.5 percent.
Growth in large-scale manufacturing in the first seven months of this year was recorded at 6.05% as against just 2.78 percent in comparable period last year. 
Availability of agriculture credit has also improved from Rs 336 billion last year to 380 billion this year. 
KSE Index in May last year was 19916 points and 29095 points yesterday, a surge of 46%.
Ishaq Dar said in the first six months of current financial year, agriculture grew by 2% as against 1.4% during comparable period last year.
Industrial growth increased from 2.5% last year to 5.4% this year. 
The Finance Minister said there was overwhelming response to the issue of Eurobond and the amount of two billion dollar has been received by the State Bank today. 
He dispelled the impression that raising of two billion dollars through bond would lead to increase in the debt. He explained that as much domestic debt in rupee would stand retired and therefore, there would be no increase in the national debt.
Referring to the criticism that Pakistan has agreed to pay much on these bonds, the minister said cost of the domestic debt is averaged at 12.25% while average of the cost of the bond would be 7.75%, resulting into a saving of about $90 million.
He said the issue of pending payments of $1.5 billion against Coalition Support Fund was taken up with the US officials in Washington and hopefully the country would receive $380 million by the end of this month.
The Finance Minister said during talks with officials of the World Bank, two concessionary loans have been agreed. The Bank would provide one billion dollar for energy and revenue development in the first week of next month. 
Pakistan would also enter into a project partnership strategy with the World Bank under which the country would get 11 billion dollars between 2015 and 2019.
Ishaq Dar said Pakistan has decided to construct both mega projects of Dassu dam and Diamer-Bhasha dam.  The World Bank would provide $600 million for Dassu project and $100 million for Sindh Irrigation System in the last week of next month.
He said the remaining funding requirements of Dassu would also be met by the World Bank, which would provide $3.2 billion under next aid programme. 
He said Asian Development Bank would also provide programme loan of $400 million in the first week of next month.
He said US Exim Bank also grants concessionary loans and we requested them to make the same conditions for Pakistan in granting development loans like its neighbouring countries.
He said Pakistan at the moment does not qualify for loans of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development due to a condition of foreign reserves of the country but the situation will change and we will soon start our dealing with IBRD. 
He said Islamic Development Bank is also providing 100 million euros. The minister said Pakistan would also launch Islamic Sukuk bonds but its timing has not yet been finalized. He said auction of 3G/4G spectrum would take place as scheduled on 23rd of this month. 

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