ISLAMABAD: Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Friday said the government had set the target of reducing fiscal deficit to four percent in the next one or two years.
Speaking in the Senate Friday during Question Hour, he said our fiscal deficit for the first quarter of current financial year remained within the target rather according to the International Monetary Fund the government over-performed in this area.
Hammad Azhar said the government took difficult decisions to save the country from default. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government retired over ten billion dollars of debt in the first year which was the highest made by any government. He said foreign exchange reserves were also on upward trajectory.
The minister said revenue collection had also witnessed growth during the first half of current fiscal year and efforts were afoot to enhance non-tax revenue. He said the private sector would be provided with an enabling environment to create job opportunities for the youth.
He said the government had forecast to gradually reduce the debt to GDP ratio. “For this purpose we will enhance our revenues and foreign exchange reserves besides cutting expenditures,” he said.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati told the House that the process had been started to get approved regulations to ensure safety standards in the vehicles.
Hammad Azhar said that commerce and finance ministries and the State Bank of Pakistan were in consultation to revive the sick industrial units. He pointed out that the flawed policies of previous governments adversely damaged these units. He said different proposals including restructuring of their loans were being considered to revive them and enhance the exports.
Speaking on a motion, the Senators stressed the need for women emancipation and empowerment. They said the political parties need to work together for this purpose. They said the provincial governments should also come up with legislation to ensure women rights in inheritance as has been done in the federal capital. They also deplored the incidents of violence against women and demanded those involved in such incidents should be brought to justice.
The House will now meet again on Monday at 3 p.m.