ISLAMABAD, Dec 14 (APP):Finance Secretary Shahid Mahmood Thursday said country’s growth momentum continued to be on a relatively high trajectory and inflation continued to remain low and stable, helped by supportive fiscal and monetary policies.
“These improving trends in our economy compelled us to start thinking of not going to International Monetary Fund (IMF),” he said this while talking to media.
He reiterated government’s commitment to stay on path of fiscal consolidation supported by increase in Federal Board of Revenue revenues and prudent expenditure management.
He said the government would continue its reform efforts for public sector enterprises and protecting the vulnerable segments of the society.
He said during recent visit of the IMF mission to Pakistan, they were informed about the steps being taken by the government for improving economic situation of the country.
He said discussions largely focused on the recent economic developments and its outlook. Deliberations were also held on reform efforts undertaken by the government including fiscal, monetary, financial, energy policies and strengthening investment climate.
He said the mission recognized that Pakistan’s growth momentum was on a high trajectory and the continued policy reforms were likely to contain external imbalances while supporting economic growth in the medium term.
He said the mission also recognized notable improvements in foreign direct investment, pickup in exports and recovery in workers’ remittances.
It also focused on addressing some of the vulnerabilities emanating from the higher level of imports and pressure on country’s foreign exchange reserves. However, the mission welcomed the new policy actions to address these concerns.
Secretary Finance Shahid Mahmood Thursday said that due to prudent economic policies, the government had started gaining results from these policies and there were visible improvements in fiscal side.
He said that every such measure would be taken that boost country’s economy while it would avoid taking any such step which affects the existing economic growth.
He said that there was visible expansion in country’s economy and pressure would ease out slowly. He added the two major factors that compelled the investors to invest in Pakistan included improving security and energy situation.
He termed these two factors as very positive for economic growth of the country.
Shahid Mahmood said that the Prime Minister had held meeting with Power Division and assigned task on circular debt to improve energy situation.
He said that oil prices in Pakistan were lowest in the region that resulted increase its consumption. He added an increase of 30% growth in quantity was reported.
He said that the government had fixed the inflation target as 6% which was reported as 3.6% in early five months while 4.5% to 5% at the end of this year.
He said that 19.5% growth was noted from collection of revenue and FBR. He said that such growth rate was required at that time. He added for the last five months the FBR was performing best.
He said that efforts were being made to minimize expenditure which was 1.2% in previous year and 1.3% this year.
He added there was close monitoring to achieve the set targets which were already in better condition this year.
He said that GDP growth was also good as last year it was 5.3% as compared with 6% this year. He added better results were achieved in agriculture and large scale manufacturing.
He said that due to sincere efforts, the GDP growth was better than last year’s 5.4% and expressed the hope that the GDP growth will be closer to 6%.
He said that services sector was performing well with 6% this year against last year’s figure of 5.9%.
He said that projects with multilateral banks were running smoothly. He added inflows were better.
He said that the government had witnessed positive growth in export in last seven months. He added this was reported as negative as -3.9% in year 2014-15, -8.8 in year 2015-16 while -.2% in year 2016-17.
He said that the IMF head had predicted the improving trend in export growth which was 3.4% in last year and 3.5% this year with prediction of 3.6% next year.
He said that the government was also taking measures to improve its import and results were achieving due to already taken decisions in this regard in October.
He said that the government had also taken steps to ensure provision of uninterrupted power supply to the people.
He said that the government had received an amount of 20 million dollars from remittance with 1.3% growth figure this year.