Country’s economy in right direction, Dar informs President Mamnoon

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has called on President Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan e Sadar on Saturday. The minister apprised the president about the economic situation in the country, saying that all key economic indicators were positive and moving in the right direction.

He said that with concerted efforts and through a comprehensive economic reforms process, the country was able to attain macroeconomic stability.

He said now the government was fully focused on measures aimed at sustainable and inclusive economic growth. The minister also shared with the president the recent developments with regard to legislation on military courts and the government’s efforts to achieve consensus on the issue.

Meanwhile, talking to a private TV channel, Dar said future of the country was re-shaping as revolutionary measures had been taken by the government to bring economic development.

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He said when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government came into power in 2013, the country’s economy was almost declared bankrupt but with the efforts of the government, the economic situation was entirely different today.

As a result of concrete steps taken by the government, the national economy was flourishing and growing with positive indicators, he said. He said the international community was now acknowledging economic growth in the country and Pakistan was being ranked among fast-growing nations.

The minister said PML-N government had been doing sincere efforts to revise its agreement with Swiss authorities to get information access to accounts of Pakistanis at their banks. He said significant development had been made in that connection after holding negotiations with the authorities, and the government would sign a revised agreement on March 21.

Ishaq Dar said that Swiss authorities had presented a number of terms and conditions for the revised agreement, but the government succeeded in doing so unconditionally. He said a new agreement would enable the government of Pakistan to get information about the accounts opened in Swiss banks.

To a question, the minister said that Panama Papers case was sub-judice and decision on it was expected in coming days. He said name of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was not mentioned anywhere in Panama Papers.

Finance minister meets Pak Stock Exchange’s delegation: Ishaq Dar also held a meeting with a delegation of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) here Saturday.

Muneer Kamal, chairman of PSX who led the delegation was accompanied by Arif Habib, Yasin Lakhani and Amin Tai.

The delegation apprised the minister that the process of acquisition of 40pc share in the PSX by foreign investors had been completed by the appointment of directors representing Shanghai & Shenzhen Stock Exchanges, and Pakistan China Investment Company, on the PSX Board.

The introduction of new partners as well as the markedly improved economic environment will help the stock market grow further in the future. The delegation lauded the progress made by the government in the economic and security environment and stated that both domestic and foreign investors are now keen to expand their investments in the country.

Several proposals for improvement of the regulatory regime were also discussed during the meeting, which aimed at consolidating and taking further the gains made in the recent years.

The delegation also presented to the Minister Dar proposals for the upcoming budget and informed that these were aimed at removing anomalies and rationalising the tax structure for the capital market.

Finance minister assured the delegation that the process of reform will continue and all the positive suggestions for improvement of the regulatory regime and taxation structure would be considered for implementation.

He said that the hard work by all stakeholders during the last four years had resulted in the economic turnaround which is globally acknowledged now.

He appreciated the role of the business community and urged that they should continue to make their positive contribution for the progress and development of the country.

The minister also shared his plans for expanding investment in various fields through the Pakistan Development Fund (PDF), which he said would focus on financing commercially viable public sector projects.

The delegation expressed keen interest in partnering with the government to expand the outreach of the Fund.

Secretary Finance, Tariq Bajwa, Secretary EAD Tariq Mehmood Pasha and Chairman SECP, Zafar ul Haq Hijazi and other senior officers of the Ministry of Finance and the SECP also participated in the meeting.

 

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