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Monday June 17, 2024

Stabilised tattered economy with tireless efforts: PM

PM Shehbaz said the government would follow its current programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

By APP & News Desk
December 15, 2022
PM Shehbaz Sharif photographed on December 14, 2022. PID
PM Shehbaz Sharif photographed on December 14, 2022. PID 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government would follow its current programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Addressing a high-level meeting over the economic situation held at the PM House, the prime minister assured all possible facilitation to exporters to boost the country’s exports.

He said the incumbent government had inherited an economy in ruins and in a miserable situation, but with consistent hard work, they had stabilised it.

The meeting was attended by ministers for finance, Economic Division, planning, defence, governor State Bank of Pakistan, presidents of Habib Bank, Alfalah Bank and other relevant authorities, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

According to sources, the prime minister was briefed on the economic situation and was told that the country was not going to default, and that all such rumours were misleading. The meeting decided to take action against dollar hoarders, while the prime minister directed to lower the difference between open market and interbank dollar rates.

The meeting expressed concerns that during the tenure of the former government, the economic situation of the country had been in tatters with the worst mismanagement and destructive situation.

When the former government came to power, the GDP during 2018, stood at 6.1 percent, but instead of improving it, bad governance and economic mismanagement pushed the economy into a stalemate.

The meeting was of the view that in 2018, the public debt was Rs25 trillion which, during March 2022 and after a period of 42 months, reached Rs44.5 trillion. Similarly, the incumbent government also inherited the economic indicators in a bad shape.

The meeting also shared that due to the floods, the economic turnaround efforts felt the shocks, but still the government helped 33 million people despite the economic difficulties.

The meeting resolved that they would steer the country out of the economic challenges gradually like it had controlled the shortage of edibles, crops and other essential goods during the period of floods.

During the meeting, the country’s economic situation was deliberated upon comprehensively, besides the IMF Ninth Review, and steps to control the current account deficit were also discussed.

The prime minister, while reiterating to complete the IMF programme, directed the relevant authorities to take necessary steps to control the financial and current account deficit. He also underlined the need for focusing on required policy and administrative reforms in this regard.

The prime minister also directed for provision of all facilities to exporters, necessary facilities at ports, identification of new markets, besides support in import of raw material and machinery.

He said currently, the total volume of IT export was $2 billion, which could be taken to $5 billion easily by extending facilities to entrepreneurs and startups.

The prime minister observed that Overseas Pakistanis should be encouraged to send their remittances to the country through banking channels with the provision of facilities. He also stressed upon reforms in the energy sector with full concentration, adding that reduction in the circular debt was among the top priorities.

He said besides enhancing power production, they needed to address the issue of circular debt. “We are required to make efforts for increasing and producing energy at the indigenous level, so as to end dependence on import of fuel,” he added.

The prime minister noted that with the import of costly fuel, common people were burdened and they had to rid the public of this agony. He directed for running of campaign to conserve energy with an improvement in the general approach to its usage as its saving was a national requirement.

The prime minister also directed the federal ministries to ensure energy saving and overcome expenditures with austerity.