ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Division Miftah Ismail hinted that if the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) was to in power, then the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) was guaranteed.
The advisor stated this while delivering his keynote speech in ‘Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit’ here on Thursday.
He further stated that whichever party came into power; it ought to do two things, privatise all the public sector enterprises, and improve the agriculture policy of the country.
It is pertinent to mention here that the federal cabinet in its meeting held in the first week of March ratified of the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation Commission (CCOP).
The CCOP in February had directed the privatisation commission to start working on the privatisation of PSMC and resubmit a comprehensive report in this regard.
The government should provide incentives to the cotton sector instead of buttering the sugar sector, Miftah added.
Cotton production will remain 13 million bales in the current fiscal year whereas only a couple of years before, the production of cotton was at 52 million bales. In addition to this, wheat prices in Pakistan is 50 per cent high when compared to neighbouring countries.
Miftah said that we have achieved many targets in the last four years, however, we are facing issues of a budget deficit and current account deficit. Pakistan’s budget deficit has reached to 5.8 per cent of GDP, comparable to last years when it was at 4.5 per cent of GDP, he added.
He said that the GDP is improving, inflation is around 5 per cent, and credit to private sector has jumped. He added that the government imposed regulatory duties on 500 items in October and devalued the rupee up to 5 per cent in December.
The advisor stated that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will achieve the target of Rs4,013 billion. He said that 57 per cent of revenue was going to provinces under the National Finance Commission (NFC), moreover, the federal government has been given Rs2400 million to provinces for the education and health sectors.