Govt’s tough decisions are yielding positive results, says Hafeez Sheikh
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that the tough decisions taken by the government are yielding positive results on the economic front.
Addressing a press conference with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi on Saturday, he said that the government has reduced expenditures for economic betterment. “About eight million people have been added to the tax net,” he claimed.
He said that the government has overcome the fiscal and trade deficits. “The trade deficit witnessed a decrease of 35 percent and fiscal deficit 36 percent during the first quarter of current fiscal year.”
Hafeez Sheikh said the current account deficit has been reduced to the record level. “For this, we struck agreements with the friendly countries as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.”
He claimed that the country’s exchange rate and foreign reserves are standing at strong levels with a 16 percent increase in revenues. “The government has not made any borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan over the last three months with the aim to control the inflation. We have also not taken supplementary grants as there is check on the expenditures,” he said.
Hafeez Sheikh pointed out that the exports remained stagnant over the last five years. “However, the exports are now increasing as a result of support given to the industries in the form of subsidy on gas, electricity and loans.”
He said that the government has also focused on overseas employment of Pakistanis to increase remittances. 224,000 people went abroad last year for employment, while this year this number has surged to 373,000,” he said.
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said that they had talked about the UAE government regarding the misuse of ‘Iqama’. “Now the misuse of ‘Iqama’ will not be possible,” he said.
To a question, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi said that dialogue with the trader community is progressing positively and there is no deadlock in it.