ISLAMABAD: The Economic Review Report for the current financial year 21-2020 has been released. The Finance Minister said that remittances have set a record and foreign exchange reserves have reached ارب 16 billion.
According to details, an economic survey was released on the economic situation of the current financial year. A government economic team headed by Shaukat Tareen released an economic survey.
Addressing a pre-budget conference, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen said that the current financial year started with a severe crisis in Corona, the government took effective measures to control the effects of Corona and the Prime Minister’s smart lockdown strategy was successful.
Shaukat Tareen said that concrete, systematic measures have been taken to control the impact on the economy, the situation in Korona has deteriorated again since February-March, and timely measures have stopped the spread of the third wave.
Regarding unemployment, he said that due to Corona and Lockdown, 20 million people lost their jobs, with the resumption of economic activities in October 2020, 53 million people were employed, the number of unemployed people decreased from 2 to 2.5 million.
The Finance Minister further said that measures were taken for agriculture, industry, SMEs, large industrial sector, large scale 9 and agriculture increased by 2%, remittances increased from سے 26 billion, will go up to Rs 29 billion, we have FBR tax collection. The target is 5.8 trillion.
He said that the rise in sugar and wheat imports and petrol prices had an impact on the current account deficit while exports and remittances had a positive impact. If wheat, sugar and pulses became more expensive globally, then Pakistan would also be affected. Oil prices have risen 119 percent, we have increased crude oil prices by 86 percent.
Shaukat Tareen said that sugar increased by 58%, we increased by only 19%, soybean increased by 119 and we increased by 22%, wheat increased by 29%, we were forced to increase the same, the price of tea leaves increased by 8.5% but we did not increase.
The Finance Minister said that in order to bring down the prices of commodities, it was necessary to increase the agricultural production.
Referring to circular debt, he said that by March 2021, we have 38,000 billion circular debt, by March 2021, we have 38,000 billion debt, of which 12.5 trillion is foreign debt, this year only 1.6 trillion debt increased, last year 3.7 trillion debt increased. Circular debt increased by less than 50 per cent over the previous year, external debt decreased by Rs 700 billion over the previous year while interest on loans was also reduced to boost industrial activity.
Shaukat Tareen said that 74 years of dreams were shown, now we only have to take care of the poor, 10 to 20 years of stable development will benefit the poor, they are showing artificial growth by taking loans and after 5 years they are back.
The Finance Minister said that large scale manufacturing has developed, there is a need to focus on small and medium enterprises, the Ministry of Commerce will tell which industry to give incentives, looking to the future will build warehouses for essential food items.
Regarding the Ehsas program, he said that the Ehsas program was appreciated by many institutions including the World Bank, Ehsas program has been extended to 15 million families, 9,000 people have benefited from the successful youth program, special measures will be taken for the youth in the new budget. ۔
Referring to the forthcoming financial budget, Shaukat Tareen said that efforts would be made in the budget for the welfare of the poor common man.
The Finance Minister said that IT is currently growing at 40-50%, next year we want 100% growth in IT sector, I want to increase exports, foreign investment, remittances, agriculture, manufacturing. Yes, but housing needs to be increased.
He said that there is pressure from the IMF to increase the tariff. The Prime Minister forbade it. In the middle of the year, the circular debt of 450 billion has now become 200 billion. The circular debt challenge of the power sector is an attempt to meet it.
Regarding China’s development, Shaukat Tareen said that China is outsourcing 85 million jobs, we want China to give us a share in it, if foreign investment comes, we will earn dollars, we want to socialize our society. Safety net has to be provided, ML One rail system will be improved under C-Pack.
Regarding the banking sector, the Finance Minister said, “I want to increase the footprint of the banking sector. Our banking footprint is only 33% which is the lowest in the world. Bangladesh’s banking footprint is also 50%.”
Regarding the privatization of institutions, he said that privatization efforts have not been successful for many years, a board of experts will be formed to improve the privatization process, a board will be formed to end political and bureaucratic interference, government institutions 26% strategic sales will be worked on, the banking sector will be restructured.