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Govt won't increase power tariff says finance minister at talk in DC

Updated 14 Oct, 2021
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin spoke to Dr Peter Lavoy at the USIP. APP
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin spoke to Dr Peter Lavoy at the USIP. APP

Finance minister Shaukat Tarin said his government doesn't intend to raise power tariffs in a talk held in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Tarin was attending a talk organized by the United States Institute of Peace when he said the government will take steps to contain inflation in Pakistan before raising the power tariff.

He began his talk moderated by Dr. Peter Lavoy, former senior director for South Asia, National Security Council, with a brief review of Pakistan's economy inherited by Prime Minister Imran Khan, praising his handling of the Covid crisis.

"Pakistan rebounded from a negative growth rate to a 4%," he said, adding they had revitalized various sectors like agriculture.

"The underprivileged have been waiting for the trickle down effect for too long... We're going now for a bottom-up approach,"he said.

Tarin is in the American capitol for talks with the IMF.

"Concluding the sixth tranche with the IMF is the most important part of my visit to Washington," he said. "The progress we have made to date has been encouraging."

Tarin also spoke about their plans to take steps to privatise a few loss loss-making state-owned enterprises to reduce the financial burden, he said.

He also spoke about the Afghanistan situation, urging the world community to engage with the Taliban.

"The Taliban are probably running out of cash,"he said. "If, by the end of this year, the rest of the world doesn't come together to support them, on humanitarian grounds at least, then there could be complete chaos," said the finance minister.

When asked how the government would deal with the fall out from the publication of the Pandora Papers, Tarin said: "Those who have done wrong will have to face the consequences."