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The News

Published Date: Dec 13, 2013

Dar says Pakistan lost $ 100b in terror war

Finance
Minister Ishaq Dar Thursday said Pakistan had faced an estimated loss of
$100 billion on account of war against terrorism.

"The
indirect losses to the country are far more than the direct losses to
economy. Now we are aiming to return normalcy in accordance with
September 2013 policy envisaged by all political parties which will be
our guiding principle to root out militancy," the minister said while
addressing the concluding session of a conference arranged by the SDPI
here.

After his concluding address, when journalists asked
the minister if the committee constituted by the Finance Ministry to
firm up figures of losses on account of war against terrorism had
completed its work, he said the committee had not yet done its work as
they would have to satisfy him first before going to public. "But the
estimated losses to economy on this account so far stand at around $100
billion," he added.

Sharing the details of the PM’s visit
to the US, the minister said in his speech that the days had gone when
prime ministers used to request for few petty dollars. He said Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif had asked the US president to help Pakistan in
areas of trade and investment when Obama inquired how Washington could
assist Islamabad. The country’s affairs, he said, would be run with
dignity and honor.

The minister said the era of dirty
politics was over, as the government would not plunge itself into
ousting the opposition-led government as the PML-N did in case of AJK.
The minister said the PPP-led government in Sindh was supporting the
center for restoring peace in Karachi.

Dwelling upon the
rising public debt, the minister said the public debt to GDP ratio had
risen to 63 percent by touching Rs14.5 trillion. The government will now
bring it down to 60 percent, he added.

The public debt
stood at Rs3 trillion from 1947 to 1999 and was close to Rs6 trillion
till 2007-08. The public debt, he said, rose sharply to Rs14.5 trillion
in 2012-13.

The minister said Pakistan was entitled to get
$1.7 billion loan facility from World Bank under soft IDA facility of
which $700 million was committed for Dasu Hydropower Project while work
was underway for finalising projects for remaining $1 billion credit
line.

In order to overcome power outages, he said the
government was pursuing CASA-1000 MW electricity project and so far
Afghanistan and Pakistan had made financial close of this project while
two remaining countries were in the process to accomplish it. The
government, he said, took decision to pursue Dasu and Bhasha dams
simultaneously, as the country was likely to face severe water shortages
in next 10 years.

He said the number of beneficiaries of
social safety nets had increased from 4.8 million to 5.5 million for
BISP and the amount was also enhanced by 20 percent from Rs1,000 to
Rs1,200 per month.