ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Wednesday declared that there is no issue of unavailability of funds for a military operation against the terrorists, and the government would spend all it can to eradicate terrorism from the country.
“The government has not yet decided to launch a military operation, as we want to give peace a chance, but at the same time we would not tolerate blasts and attacks during the peace talks with the Taliban,” Dar told media during a well-attended press briefing at the Planning Commission auditorium. He said the present government has embarked upon a plan to improve economy, overcome energy shortages and eradicate terrorism from the country. He expressed the hope that like economy, law and order situation would also improve so the country could get the much-needed betterment in the investment climate.
Dar said Pakistan has suffered massive human losses along with around $80 billion losses to the economy, however, indirect losses are above all GDP growth has declined, investment have wiped out, there has been massive loss of jobs and unemployment have increased due to this war against terrorism, he added. Replying to a question on appreciation of Pak-Rupee against US Dollar from Rs.106 a dollar to Rs.98 a dollar, he indirectly said that he would not ask them to resign from parliament those who have been claiming that rupee to touch Rs.127 a US dollar.
It’s on the record that a senior political leader (without naming him) had claimed that if rupee appreciated against dollar to Rs.98 a dollar he would resign, now it’s up to media and him, we have done it and latest reports suggest dollar is being traded in the market around Rs 98. Explaining reasons behind appreciation of Pak-Rupee against US Dollar, he mentioned that we had requested to exporters to bring back their exports proceeds, cautioned speculators not to play on wrong lines.
Similarly, took some appropriate measures like ban on the import of gold which was subsequently being smuggled to India where high import duty was imposed on it’s import. He also mentioned that due to the strength in Pak Rupee against US dollar, public debt have witnessed a decline by Rs.800 billion during last few weeks.
We achieve what we claim and it’s the second time in the history of the country that we have brought down rupee dollar parity, explaining this he mentioned that in 1998-99 rupee was brought down from Rs.67 a dollar to Rs.52 and in 2014, again we have met our claim and brought rupee dollar parity down from Rs.110 a dollar to Rs.98 a dollar. Briefing media on economic performance of the government during first eight months July-February period of ongoing fiscal year 2013-14, he mentioned that almost all the indicators have shown positive trend. It has been accepted by IMF and other international financial institutions that economic growth is gaining momentum, inflation is coming down which is the main visible improvement in the economy.
He mentioned that those who have been projecting GDP growth for ongoing fiscal at 2.8% of the GDP have now revised it upwards to 3.3% of the GDP and government still determined to take it to projected level of 4.4% of the GDP during this fiscal. Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation has now came down to 8.5% from double digit. Soon the crude oil production to increase from 73000 barrel to 90000 barrel, foreign exchange reserves have been stabilized and stand at $9.5 billion today with $4.75 billion with commercial banks and $2.78 billion with State Bank of Pakistan and hoped that these would be further improved to $10 billion soon. He mentioned that Karachi stock market capitalization have increased from $51.3 billion to $60.59 billion with an increase in capitalization at 18.3%. Dar informed that government has submitted claims of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to US authorities worth $1.6 billion and some $400 are expected to soon.
Giving details of the tax collection, he informed that against the tax collection of Rs.1.035 billion FBR has collected Rs.1.148 during last eight months. Budget deficit has been kept under control at 3.1% of the GDP against projected 4.1% of the GDP. Remittances have also surged by 11.5%, exports by 1.2%, companies registration by 11.5% and large scale manufacturing by 13.2%.
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