ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar Sunday said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would overcome power load-shedding from the country during its tenure.
Different power projects of over 7000 megawatts are underway to get rid of power crisis, he said talking to PTV.
The minister mentioned to 18 hours load-shedding of previous regime and said, now load-shedding has been curtailed to a few hours a day and there is no unscheduled power outage anywhere. “Another LNG based power project of 3600 megawatts is in the pipeline and will help mitigate load-shedding.”
Pakistan’s economic ranking was noticing upward trend as the world had acknowledged Pakistan’s rapid economic development, he said, all sectors including agricultural and industrial were being given equal importance and attention.
“The impact of economic reforms is visible now and 22 well-reputed international organizations have recognized Pakistan’s economic growth,” Dar said.
He also mentioned to growing middle class in the country and said, it is happening due to solid steps and prudent policies of the government.
“A number of development projects to uplift far-flung areas of the country had been launched in the country and the government is making earnest efforts to bring the remote areas at par with developed.”
Ishaq Dar informed that tax base was expanding and revenue generation has increased considerably due to the tax reforms. “The confidence of international community in Pakistan has increased and now foreign investors are pouring in.”
He expressed the confidence that Pakistan’s Euro Bond this year would again be a success like the previous year and Pakistan’s ranking in world economies will improve upward.
To a question, he said, the annual financial assistance under Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) for deserving and needy citizens had been enhanced from Rs 12000 to Rs 18000.
To another question the minister replied, when the PML-N government came into power, the foreign reserves of State Bank of Pakistan were less than US$ three billion but untiring efforts of the government made to take the reserves to $13.5 billion. “The total foreign reserves of the country including of the commercial banks are now at $18.5 billion – the highest in country’s history.”
Dar said the government welcomes positive criticism and urged media to also highlight the government’s positive steps.
He said the Prime Minister’s discretionary fund has been eliminated and the government under a special initiative has reduced non-development funds and enhanced development spending so the maximum available resources could be utilized for providing relief to masses.
The expenditure for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and operation Zarb-e-Azb would be Rs 190 billion, he added.
Ishaq Dar mentioned to sizeable business activity particularly on Eid-ul-Fitr across the country and said, it happened due to improvement in law and order situation and check on price hike.