Homegrown 4-Es strategy steers country out of crisis: Dar

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 8 (APP): The government by adopting the four-Es homegrown strategy steered the country out of economic and other potential crisis, Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar said Tuesday.
Addressing the participants of National Security and War Course 2017, the minister said focus on four-Es i.e. Economy, Energy, Extremism and Education/Health, was the election manifesto of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), which was followed in letter and spirit and resultantly the country was put on the path of stability.
He said the focus on the economic stability for past three years had ensured macroeconomic stability and now the attention had been put to promote growth rate.
He said the government had given many initiatives in the federal budget 2016-17 to various sectors of economy including agriculture, industry and export sectors to promote growth.
For catering to the demands of increasing population, the minister said 7 per cent growth rate achievement was imperative and the country had the potential to achieve even more than that.
He said the country was today much better than 2013 as the foreign exchange reserves had risen from $7.5 billion to over $24 billion and inflation remained in single digit with growth rate of 4.7 per cent in 2015-16, the highest in last eight years.
Dar said the government had to take many unpopular decisions to put the economy on the path of stability. The government reduced development expenditures by 30-40 per cent and abolished secret funds of as many as 34 institutions.
He said the fiscal deficit had also been reduced from 8.4 per cent of GDP to 4.6 per cent and would be reduced further.
Due to those measures, he said, the economy moved from insatiability to stability and many world organizations had revised Pakistan’s ranking.  Some reported the country to have moved from negative to stable and then to positive ranking while others reported it growing from B negative to B.
He said despite the tension on the Line of Contol, the Sukuk bond
got an overwhelming response and was offered at 5.5 per cent in the market, which showed that inventors had developed trust in Pakistan’s economy.
The minister said $ 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was another example that demonstrated trust of investors as $35 billion under the project would be invested by private sector in the energy sector.
Talking about the second E i.e. energy, he said as many as 10,000
megawatt electricity would be added to the national grid system by March 2018 and the loadshedding would be fully overcome.
He said similarly on the extremism front, the security forces had made remarkable progress in eliminating terrorists as there had been considerable reduction in suicide and other attacks.
He said the government had been focussed on promoting the social sector development as the size of Public Sector Development Programme had been enhanced up to Rs 1600 billion with Rs 800 billion federal share and the relief through Benizir Income Support Programmes had been enhanced from Rs 40 billion to Rs 120 billion.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Nissar Muhamamd Khan said the board had surpassed the revenue targets set for the fiscal year 2015-16.
He said enhancing revenue collection was imperative to provide the government cushion to enhance spending on public sector development.
On the occasion, the Secretary Finance gave a detailed presentation
on the overall performance of economy and apprised the participants that there had been a considerable growth and positive developments on economic front.
FBR Members FATE and Customs also gave detailed presentations on the workings and achievements of the board.