Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stressed creating a balance in income and expenditures, saying that the country was not at the place where it should have been according to the vision of Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
“There is a dire need to identify the mistakes that kept Pakistan behind in progress as compared to the other countries,” the finance minister said while addressing the “Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit” in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The minister identified key principles to lead the country towards progress which include ‘living within means’ arguing that unless the income matches the expenditures, the country could not progress.
He said that the country had witnessed huge debt burdens, citing last year’s Rs5200 billion deficit while it remained around Rs3500 billion per year for last four years whereas the deficit was recorded at Rs1600 per annum during the 5 years of Pakistan Muslim League government and it was even less in Pakistan Peoples’ Party government.
The minister said that the debt has more than doubled during the past four years, however it would be contained at Rs4000 billion during the current year. He said, the country had to borrow Rs4000 billion from other countries to meet its expenditures.
The finance czar said the government was focusing on enhancing exports and farm productivity in order to help the country stand on its own feet.
He assured to extend facilitation to the companies in exporting their products to the international market.
He stressed that every company should export at least ten percent of their products to earn valuable foreign exchange for the country.
As regards the agriculture sector, the Finance Minister said a task force has been established to address the problems faced by this productive sector of the economy. He said the country this year has so far imported 1.1 million ton of wheat. He said the money spent on import of wheat could be saved by supporting the farmers and introducing latest technology in the sector.
He stressed that bolstering exports and agriculture would benefit the poor segments of society.
Miftah Ismail also emphasized promoting education in the country to register successes in different fields.
Addressing the Summit, Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman pointed out that climate change is impacting 9.1 percent of our GDP.
Describing climate change a national security problem, she said Pakistan will not compromise on its long term mitigation promises. However, she said we are shifting focus to adaptation to level up resources, thinking and planning to phase down climate disasters.