FAISALABAD, (APP): State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib has said that continuity of policies is imperative for sustained economic growth and the business community must openly support Prime Minister Imran Khan for successfully steering the country from the economic crisis even in the face of corona challenge.
Addressing the 2nd-day function of Pakistan Economic Conference-2022 (PEC-2022), organized by the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) here on Saturday, he said Pakistan had attained a 5 percent growth rate only because of prudent and viable policies of the government. However, sustainability of the growth was important, and in this connection, private sector had to play its role, he added.
He termed the private sector the growth engine and said that role of the government was to facilitate and provide an enabling environment and in this connection, it had developed a close workable, and productive liaison with the business community during the last three-and-a-half years.
He said that the current account deficit was around $20 billion when the government came to power. The situation was more critical as it had to pay back loan installments of Rs 3,000 billion. Similarly, the tax collection was also stagnant at Rs3,800 billion, he added.
He said that the stance of the PTI government was business-friendly and it had established liaison with exporters before coming to power. “We are proud that the first textile policy, formulated by the business community, was adopted by the PTI government. We tried our best to correct the imbalances and disparity between the industrial sector of different provinces,” he added.
He said, “We also ensured gas supply to the export sector at 6.5 cents per MMBTU which played a key role in enhancing exports and In-Sha-Allah, during this year, the government was expecting $21 billion earning from textile exports.”
He said that different steps were being taken to compensate for the negative impact of COVID-19 and proactive monetary policy had been announced to give impetus to the industrial sector.
“The State Bank of Pakistan announced a special pay package while Rs 450 billion was disbursed under TERF (Temporary Economic Refinance Facility),” he said and added that under the scheme, industrialists were importing new machinery and technologies at subsidized rates.
He said that it was the second consecutive year that our current account deficit remained below 500 million dollars. “Similarly, imports were also recorded 18 percent decrease”, he said and added that the government was not borrowing loans from the State Bank of Pakistan while this amount was now being provided to the private sector under TERF and SME policy at a subsidized rate.
Continuing, he said that ministers were not available during the tenure of the last government but now they were available at a phone call to resolve problems of the business community.
He said that the government was fully focusing on the uplift of youth. “We are trying to produce entrepreneurs instead of job seekers”, he added.
“As a result of our policies, we are expecting to earn 38 billion dollars from the export of services and goods”, he said and mentioned a special stimulus package for the industrial sector. Under this arrangement, Rs.50 billion is being provided to subsidize the electricity for the export sector, he added.
He said that Pakistan was included among the three countries which had successfully come out from the negative impact of corona and NCOC had declared Pakistan a corona-free country as we had successfully vaccinated our entire population.
“Earlier we are exporting 120 to 150 items to China under Free Trade Agreement (FTA) but now during the second phase of this agreement the number of these items has been increased to 350”, he added.
He said, “It is the second year that we harvested bumper crops. As we have produced 2 million tons extra sugar, hence its price has decreased to Rs.70 per kg”.
He said that under construction package loans of Rs.192 billion were doled out on December 20, 2020, which had recorded an increase of Rs.170 billion. Under the amnesty scheme, the projects worth Rs.600 billion have been registered which would generate economic activities of Rs.7000 billion in addition to creating 1.2 million jobs, he added.
He said that the government was constructing 10 dams to provide cheap electricity in addition to enhancing water storage capacity of 1300 million acres feet.
Earlier, Mr. Atif Munir Sheikh President FCCI and PEC Organizer Mr. Azhar Chaudhry welcomed the guests and appreciated the participants, speakers, and panelists.
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