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Country out of crisis now: PM

Top Story

June 16, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the country has been saved from an imminent default and it has crossed the difficult patch.

The premier said the economy of Pakistan has been stabilised and now it’s the time for the economy to take off as the crisis is over. The “current deficit has seen 30 percent reduction although we are paying Rs2,000 billion out of Rs4,000 billion overall revenue for debt servicing which is the highest amount in the history of the country being paid to offset the foreign loans,” the premier said while addressing a high echelon meeting at his Banigala residence that was also attended by Jehangir Tareen, Adviser on Economic Affairs Dr Hafeez Sheikh, federal ministers Omar Ayub Khan, Murad Saeed, FBR Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, SAPM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Senator Faisal Javaid.

The prime minister maintained that the government’s priority is to bring the people above the line of poverty who are living under it. He said the Ehsas programme’s allocation has increased from Rs100 million to Rs190 million. The prime minister announced that a high-powered commission to probe $24 billion loans taken in 10 years would be constituted soon and it will also investigate the ‘Iqama’ holders and their sources of wealth. The premier said he will go after the Iqama holders. The sources told The News that overall political situation prevailing in the country was also reviewed and strategy to deal with the National Assembly budget session was also discussed. The government’s targets set in the budget were discussed candidly. Hafeez Sheikh briefed the meeting about budget proposals and government’s targets. The FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi briefed the meeting on the tax reforms and the ambitious revenue collection targets determined by the government.

The meeting was also attended by the spokespersons for the government. The meeting took stock of the post budget scenario and opposition’s plans in the wake of the arrest of its leaders. It also discussed strategy to deal with the opposition’s proposed agitation. It was decided that the spokespersons would adopt proactive approach while responding to the opposition's allegation. Prime Minister Imran Khan was of the view that the arrested leaders belonging to opposition are looking for an NRO. The spokespersons will follow more aggressive strategy and they will give a befitting reply to the opposition's onslaught. The prime minister described the narrative of the ruling party about the situation and developments. Jehangir Tareen briefed the meeting about agriculture policy of the government, the sources said. The meeting also discussed strategy for elimination of poverty from the country.

Meanwhile, Firdous Ashiq Awan said the proposed inquiry commission on loans could summon anybody regarding his or her corruption. “Even if the commission summons anybody from the PTI, he would appear before it,” she said in a statement. About the meeting of Bilawal Bhutto and Maryam Safdar, she said the fathers of both are in prisons due to corruption and her best wishes are with both the young leaders.

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