Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Hafeez Shaikh has said that the government has granted tax exemption on exports and decided to provide subsidy on electricity and gas to the export industry in the budget.
Briefing TV anchors about economic performance of the government in first quarter of the current fiscal year, he reiterated the government’s resolve to eliminate issue of circular debt by December 2020.
The adviser said that the economy would be further strengthened in coming months and soon the country would achieve economic prosperity. He informed the anchors about economic situation and challenges.
He highlighted bilateral agreements with different friendly countries and assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) helped to ease pressure on the economy.
He said that the IMF team in its first review had given a very satisfactory report on the economic performance of the government in first quarter of current financial year. He said that the government would utilize all its energies to increase revenue and decrease expenditures.
The adviser reiterated the steps taken in the budget 2019-20 to curtail expenditures and allocation of increased budget for the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) and poverty alleviation programmes.
He said that the government is strengthening the economic institutions of the country to get durable economic results. He said that the institutions like State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) had been given more autonomy to carry out its official business independently.
Due to policies of the government, the current account deficit had come down by 63.1% in the first quarter of current financial year whereas the volume of exports had also increased by 3.8%, he said, adding that the trade deficit had decreased by 33.5% in the first three months.
Dr Hafeez Shaikh said that the government is also trying to generate above target non tax revenue in the ongoing financial year. After the briefing, the TV anchors asked questions related to fiscal, monitory and external accounts besides inflation, exports, central bank’s autonomy, agriculture and taxation system.