ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday reviewed progress on the goals set for the first quarter of the current fiscal year and ordered his economic team to develop a clear schedule for achieving quarterly economic goals.
At the second meeting held with a two-week gap at his residence in Banigala to assess the health of the economy and its direction, the prime minister was informed that economic policies were giving results citing a reduction of almost 38 percent in the trade deficit during the first two months of this fiscal year due to the sharp drop in imports.
A senior official, who is aware of the meeting, told Dawn that the prime minister had called the meeting to assess general economic activities, especially to see progress in extending the reach of social security networks to beneficiaries real.
The prime minister ordered the departments concerned to develop a clear and time-based roadmap to examine the achievements of the quarterly objectives.
Economic policies are giving results, said PM
The Secretary of Finance, Naveed Kamran Baloch, informed the meeting about the quarterly objectives of several ministries of economy.
The prime minister was informed that the first quarterly review of the IMF will be successful. "We have almost reached our quarterly goals," an official with the Ministry of Finance told Dawn.
On Friday, IMF communications director Gerry Rice said an IMF-level team would visit Islamabad in the coming days to hold talks on fiscal matters.
The meeting was informed that the reform agenda signed with the IMF was on track and progress so far in almost all performance and structural parameters for the first quarter of the current fiscal year was very encouraging with a strong indication that all will be met. the objectives.
As part of the IMF package, the government did not apply for loans from the State Bank, no additional subsidies were granted and the expenses are under control during the first quarter. “The volatility of the exchange rate is almost over. Because of these and other achievements, the government is almost on track in terms of the first quarterly fiscal objective, ”said the official.
The prime minister also received information on the steps taken to improve the agricultural sector.
Renaissance of sick units
On the rebirth of sick and closed industrial units, the prime minister said it is necessary to focus on their revival. He said the Corporate Industrial and Restructuring Corporation has to play an active role in this regard, especially for better coordination between all departments, including the National Bank of Pakistan, SBP and others, in addition to the formulation of a strategy for revival of the sick units.
With regard to the construction sector, the prime minister said a proposal was being finalized to give this sector an industrial status and introduce a fixed tax regime in the largest cities. In this regard, the Prime Minister asked the president of the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority, retired, Lieutenant General Anwar Ali Haider, to present an incentive package to promote the construction of residential apartments and attract investments in the sector.
FBR President Shabbar Zaidi said at the meeting that the revenue collection objective of the first two months is almost reached in the 90pc range. "Due to government efforts, the tax network has expanded, which is a positive signal for the economy," he added.
The Minister of Planning, Khusro Bakhtiar, informed the Prime Minister about the progress in development projects that are running under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The governor of SBP, Dr. Reza Baqir, said that exporters have not only expressed their full satisfaction for government policies, but also presented several proposals to boost export-related industries.
The prime minister was informed that exports will pick up in the coming months after the solution of the problems that may have arisen due to the interruption of the zero qualification status for the five export-oriented sectors.
Mr. Khan asked his economic team to present some unconventional and original solutions for economic improvement and to consult all stakeholders to ensure timely implementation of the proposals.
Posted on Dawn, September 15, 2019