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Business Recorder

Published Date: Dec 13, 2013

Country suffered $100bn direct losses: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that Pakistan suffered a direct
economic loss of $100 billion in the war against terrorism whereas its
indirect cost was even greater. Speaking at the concluding session of
SDPI seminar, Dar said that an indirect cost of war on terror in terms
of human losses and infrastructure far exceeded the direct cost.

An official of Finance Ministry said the estimate of economic
loss of $100 billion was based on figures compiled in a report jointly
prepared by various ministries and would be officially released by the
Foreign Office (FO) in near future. "We are trying to return to normalcy
and not looking for a shortcut," he reiterated.

The Minister said the previous government had not done any good
to the economy and people were suffering because of the economic mess
created by them. Dar said the present government had taken Rs 200
taxation measures in budget to fulfil the commitment made by the
previous government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The
present government had to increase the power tariff to implement the
delayed decision of caretaker government. The implementation of
decisions delayed by previous or caretaker government has been
responsible for fuelling inflation.

The Minister said the government had targeted to reduce fiscal
deficit to 6 percent of the GDP and is closing monitoring inflation to
limit it to a single digit. The Minister said the country”s public debt
had gone beyond the limit of 60 percent of the GDP fixed in Fiscal
Responsibility and Debt Limitation Act (FRDL) and reached Rs 14.5
trillion or 63.5 percent of GDP due to previous government”s
borrowings. He said that government would try to bring it below 60
percent of the GDP. Dar said the country had to avail cheap resources to
implement Prime Minister”s vision of mega projects. "We have gone to
the IMF pay old loan." The Minister also recounted in details about the
measures envisioned and taken by the present government to deal with
power generation and foreign exchange stability. He said he was informed
on the way that Pakistan had been granted GSP plus status by the
European Parliament effective from January 2014, which would help
increase the country”s exports by $2 billion.