May 05, 2021: Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen has said the government is pursuing a policy to take the economy towards growth mode.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said the goal will be achieved by incentivizing the industries, agriculture and housing sectors. This, he said, will provide job opportunities to the people.
Unveiling the way forward, he said twelve working groups have been constituted in the Economic Advisory Council to frame short-, medium- and long-term policies for different sectors.
The Finance Minister said that price stability is our key focus, and it is the aim of the government to check inflation to provide relief to the common man.
Shaukat Tareen said the scope of social protection will be further expanded under Ehsaas Program. Healthcare, employment and skills development will also be made part of it.
The Finance Minister pointed out that the FBR has done some good work to enhance the revenue collection. However, more programs will be announced in the next budget to eliminate harassment to encourage people to pay taxes. He said there was a growth of fifty-seven percent in revenue collection in the month of April this year as compared to the corresponding period last year. He said it is our target to further expand the tax base.
The Finance Minister said that reforms in the energy sector will be introduced and spending on the agriculture sector will be increased to strengthen this vital sector of the economy.
Shaukat Tareen said we also want to bring Foreign Direct Investment in the export-oriented industries in order to bolster our exports. He said there is a great potential for growth in IT. Its exports will remain two billion dollars this year and these can be enhanced to eight billion dollars in the next two to three years.
He said a program will be introduced to increase loans for small and medium enterprises. Similarly, Kamyab Jawan and Kamyab Kisan programs will be further strengthened to bring prosperity at the grassroots level.
The Finance Minister said Pakistan will not come out of the IMF program, but it will seek space from the financial institution given the current situation of COVID-19. He said we have already held some good talks with the IMF and the World Bank.