Time to accelerate growth momentum of economy: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

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KARACHI, Jun 24 (APP): Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue,
Economic Affair, Muhammad Ishaq Dar has said that economic parameters have recorded significant improvement over the last three years and it is time to accelerate the growth momentum of the economy.

He was addressing the Presidents of various Banks in a meeting held at State Bank of Pakistan, here on Friday.

He highlighted that the foreign exchange reserve position of the
country has improved significantly over the last three years and
appreciated the role of SBP and banks in this improvement.

He mentioned that going further reserves will improve further and by the end of the fiscal year may touch US dollar 23 billion.

“We are expecting another US$ 1 billion from IFIs in the coming
week”, he said. Appreciating the contribution of home remittances, the
Minister in this connection lauded the role of banks.

He disclosed that in respect of the reimbursement of TT changes, the government will release Rs 3 billion from the budgeted allocation of 2015-16.

The Finance Minister that it is the first time Pakistan will complete IMF Macro-economic Stabilization Program. Despite several hurdles, it is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the country has completed maximum reforms under the program.

Adding further he said that Pakistan is not intending to go to
another IMF program.

While elaborating the fiscal improvements, he stated that the
budget deficit has improved to 4.3% from 8.8% three years ago without compromising on development budget. The process of fiscal
consolidation continuous to lower the deficit going forward.

“As a consequence government’s borrowing requirements from the
banking system are reduced and therefore creating space for the banks
to lend to the private sector,” the Finance Minister remarked.

He urged banks to take advantage of this space and increase
credit to the private sector particularly to the SME and microfinance
sectors as well as to the housing sector.

To promote mortgage financing in the country, he stressed
importance of having foreclosure law and said that without such laws
housing finance could not be promoted.

FM lauded SBP efforts in the financial sector. He said monetary
policy has played a greater role in achieving economic turnaround.
Further, he said SBP efforts with regard to financial inclusion
have earned international recognition.

Earlier, the Governor SBP, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra welcomed the
Finance Minister.

He said that we are grateful that you took time out of your busy schedule, as we all know that you have been shouldering various other responsibilities besides your own portfolio in recent time.