Govt aims to reduce fiscal deficit to 4pc, Senate told

Hammad Azhar says over $10bn debt retrieved in one year

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar has said the government has set a target of reducing the fiscal deficit to four percent in the next one or two years.

Speaking in the Senate on Friday during Question Hour, he said the country’s fiscal deficit for the first quarter of the current financial year remained within the target as according to the IMF the government over-performed in this area.

He said the government took difficult decisions to save the country from default.

“We retired over $10 billion dollars of debt in the first year which is the highest made by any government,” Hammad Azhar said, adding foreign exchange reserves are also on upward trajectory.

He said revenue collection has also witnessed growth during the first half of current fiscal year and efforts are afoot to enhance non-tax revenue.

The minister said the private sector will be provided with an enabling environment to create job opportunities for the youth.

Hammad Azhar said the government has forecast to gradually reduce the debt to GDP ratio. For this purpose we will enhance our revenues and foreign exchange reserves besides cutting expenditures.

The commerce and finance ministries and the State Bank of Pakistan are in consultation to revive the sick industrial units, he further said.

He pointed out that the flawed policies of previous governments adversely damaged these units and added different proposals including the restructuring of their loans are being considered to revive them and enhance the exports.

 

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