Balance of payments position improved: Dar tells Senate

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Pakistan becomes signatory to OECD Convention in tax matters

ISLAMABAD, Sept 6 (APP): Finance Minister Mohammad lshaq Dar on Tuesday informed the Senate that the balance of payments position has improved over the years.

In a written reply during question hour, he said the current account deficit in Financial Year 2015-16 stood at US$2,480 million (0.9% of the GDP) as compared to FY 2012-13 when it was US$2,496 million (1.1% of the GDP).

Foreign exchange reserves as on 30th June, 2016 were US$23.1 billion whereas on 30th June, 2013 they were US$11 billion, he said and added that workers’ remittances
amounted to US$19.92 billion in FY 2015-16, showing an increase of 43% over FY 2012-13 figure of US$13.92 billion.

To another question, he said, since 2013, the government has taken a number of steps to improve the balance of payments position and build the country’s foreign  exchange
reserves.

Major steps include successful completion of the IMF program and increased inflows from bilateral and multilateral sources in the form of grants and loans.

The government has also successfully issued sovereign bonds and sukuk in the international capital markets.

He said additional steps include privatization, auction of 3G/ 4G licenses and receipts of the Coalition Support Fund.

To facilitate and enhance workers’ remittances, he said, several measures had been introduced under the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI). Comprehensive awareness programs.

He added that briefings to Pakistanis going abroad, establishment of call centers to resolve issues of overseas Pakistanis on priority basis, allowing opening of foreign
currency accounts by non-residents and initiating financial literacy programs have led to a steady increase in remittances.

During FY 2015-16, workers remittances stood at US$19.92 billion.