Shaukat Tarin addresses pre-budget press conference
ISLAMABAD: Workers’ remittances continued their exceptional streak in May 2021, remaining above $2 billion for a record 12th straight month.
While addressing the pre-budget press conference in Islamabad, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that hopefully, remittances would climb to Rs29 billion a year soon.
“Remittances witnessed record growth of 29.4 percent this financial year as it has increased to Rs26.7 billion and because of this the current account is in surplus,” he said adding that increase in foreign exchange reserves and remittances sent by the overseas Pakistanis showed trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A press release issued by the State Bank of Pakistan read that the remittances received during May 2021 amounted to 2.5 billion dollars, 33.5 percent higher than the same month last year. These were also higher than the monthly average of $2.4 billion during July-April FY21, it added.
The finance minister apprised that more than one billion dollars were received in Roshan Digital Account from overseas Pakistanis.
He said the Federal Board of Reserves (FBR)’s tax collection was going good and its tax collection mounted by 50 percent in last 4-5 months.
He also shed light on the hike of prices on different commodities in the international market but the government did not pass on that inflation to the masses.
Shaukat Tarin said tea price increased up to 8.5 percent but nothing was increased locally. Crude oil price rose by 119 percent globally but it was not increased in the country likewise, he maintained.
He stressed on the need to grow products indigenously in a bid to avoid imports of expensive products.
He said the industrial growth led to increase in import. He also said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank showed the growth at its lowest ebb.
“We have stabilized the economy but I have talked to the PM to increase the rate of growth of economy. We will take care of poor. We have to focus on small medium enterprises,” he said.
The minister said 182 million cellular phones were being used in the country and broadband subscribers were up to 100 million.
He said inflation rate in April was 11.1 and it had reduced to 8.88 percent in May after two crore people were unemployed because of coronavirus lockdown.
He relayed that the PM did not increase tariff on electricity price despite the IMF’s demand.
Shaukat Tarin said it was due to the farsighted and prudent decisions that the country saw economic recovery.
He said incentives were especially given to different sectors, including construction, manufacturing and textiles besides interventions were made in agriculture sector. Bumper crops of wheat, sugarcane and maize gave a push to the agriculture growth.
According to the Economic Survey, the GDP at the current market price stands at 47,709 billion rupees showing a growth of 14.8 percent over the last year.
The agriculture sector posted a growth of 2.8 percent, industries 3.6 percent and services 4.4 percent. In Industry, Manufacturing recorded 8.7 percent growth on account of significant growth in large scale manufacturing and SMEs. The large scale manufacturing increased by eight point nine percent.
The construction sector recorded growth of 8.3 percent. The IT sector witnessed growth of 18. 85 percent which is the highest growth in comparison with all other industries and the highest in the region.