Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Shaukat Tarin has stated that the country’s economy is on the right track and the good days are coming.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, he said, “we have always been telling the public to not worry.” He added that Pakistanis had to be a little more patient as the good days were coming.
It is to note that Pakistan saw a drastic increase in trade deficit in November as the gap rose to 162.4 percent. The huge deficit was caused by the growth in imports tripling that of exports.
Furthermore, the KSE-100 index also dropped by 4.71% in a single day, the highest since March 2020.
As a result of the widening gap, the dollar reached its all-time high and stood at Rs176.42 after gaining 94 paisas on 2 December.
The import bills have gone up to $7.5 billion during November from $6.3 billion in the previous month.
Tarin said the increase in the import bill was caused by imports of four different commodities. He credited the rise in imports owing to a great import of petroleum goods. He revealed that there was a 72% increase in imports of petrol in terms of value whereas 11% in terms of volume. Similarly, the imports of crude oil also increased by 86%.
Moreover, the Finance Advisor added that Rs. 200 billion is proposed to be expunged from the development budget. The government’s Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the current fiscal year is at 700 billion, if it is cut by 200 billion it would be called at 500 billion. The figure after the reductions in the budget would be much lower than what was allocated and spent in 2013-14, he stated.
The Advisor pointed out that the problem was being faced all around the world. He cited India where the trade deficit had doubled. He affirmed that the price hike would decline as soon as the international prices come down. He was confident that as soon as the prices would decrease, the exports and the remittances of Pakistan would put the economy back on track.
He admitted that the poor segment of the country was suffering. Yet, he said, the government was helping the poor through the Ehsaas Program.
Due to the prevailing economic situation, he noted, the middle class was suffering. He underlined that the middle class would have to be supported to improve the economy.
In light of the prevailing situation, Tarin stated that tax measures amounting to Rs. 300 billion, increased duties, and removal of tax exemptions will be implemented to spearhead fiscal progression in the right direction.
Source: Pro Pakistani