ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance, Muhammad Ishaq Dar here on Thursday said that the European Union has granted Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status to Pakistan which would greatly help the country to boost its export.
Addressing the concluding session of 3-day 16th Sustainable Developmentm Policy Institute (SDPI) Conference, he said that to sustain dwindling national economy, government has taken some unpopular and difficult steps.
Due to these measures and prudent polices of the government economic indicators were showing positive signs where as the foreign investors confidence to invest in Pakistan was also restored.
He said due to corrective measures taken by government, budget deficit has been brought down to 2.2% equal to Rs 570 billion compared to 2.9% equal to Rs 690 billion last year.
The minister said revenue collection witnessed 17 percent growth adding that FBR has collected a tax revenue of Rs 792 billion as against Rs 679 billion realized by FBP up to November 2012 (last year).
Ishaq Dar said that the government during the first quarter of the current financial year has released Rs 143 billion against the total allocation of Rs. 340 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
The minister said that figures regarding national economy would be announced on quarterly basis and made public to know about the performance of the economy.
He further said that exchange rate stability was gradually returning as exchange rate had improved during last days adding that government was determined to bring foreign exchange reserves up US$20 billion by the year 2016.
The government was closely monitoring the inflation and taking steps to bring it to single digit to provide maximum relief to a common man in the country, he added.
Besides, he said that government has also enhanced allocation for social safety network and was bringing about 5.5 million families in social safety net by increasing the stipend money from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1200.
The Minister said that IFC has announced trade financing facility of ($ 500 million) while Global rupee bond, Euro Bond $ 500 million would be launched and Financial Advisor (FA) in this regard would be appointed shortly.
He added that the second tranche of US $137 million from Islamic Development Banks (IDB) has been received.
The minister said that government was working on different power sector development projects to overcome the energy issues for rapid economic development adding that work on Nelum Jehlum Hydro Project was excalreated and expected to complete by 2016.