Hafeez Sheikh presents upbeat picture of national economy
ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Saturday presented a flat-out upbeat picture of the national economy.
Addressing the press conference regarding the current national economic situation, while flanked by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said export sector was being given subsidy in facilities such as gas, electricity and almost everything of basic need.
“Our two biggest deficits have been controlled. Our foreign trade deficit was nine billion dollar which has been slashed by 35 percent, bringing it up to more than five billion dollar,” he said adding that the fiscal deficit had been reduced by 36 percent the following month.
“Fiscal deficit was 738 billion last year, which is 476 billion rupees this year. We are witnessing good results of our policies,” he said.
He relayed that the national revenue was soared by 16 percent.
The advisor said non-tax revenue, the revenue generated through resources other than taxes, had surged by 140 percent in comparison to last year. 1.2 trillion rupees was the target set in the fiscal budget for this year’s non-tax revenue, however they were confident to collect more than that, he maintained.
Petrol prices had not been increased in last three months for the prices in the global market had not mounted as well as the inflation had remained firm, he said.
Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said exchange rate in the past was maintained through wasting several billion dollars, hence the government had decided to bring the exchange rate in accordance with the market and to help increase exports.
He said exchange rates had become stable for last three months.
The PM’s advisor said benefits of the facilities provided by the government were gradually being reaped.
“373,000 people have been sent abroad this year which would have pleasant effect on our economy in face of increased remittances,” he said.
He said the stock market had improved by 22 percent.