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Daily Times Islamabad

Published Date: Dec 13, 2013

GSP Plus status to boost exports: Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday said the European Union has
granted Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus status to Pakistan,
which would greatly help the country boost its export.
Addressing
the concluding session of three-day 16th Sustainable Development Policy
Institute (SDPI) Conference, the minister said to sustain dwindling
national economy, the government has taken some unpopular and difficult
steps.
Due to these measures and prudent policies of the government
economic indicators were showing positive signs where as the foreign
investors confidence to invest in Pakistan was also restored.
He said
due to corrective measures taken by the government, budget deficit has
been brought down to 2.2 percent equal to Rs 570 billion as compared to
2.9 percent equal to Rs 690 billion last year.
The minister said
revenue collection witnessed 17 percent growth, adding that the Federal
Board of Revenue (FBR) has collected a tax revenue of Rs 792 billion as
against Rs 679 billion realised by FBR up to November 2012 (last year).
Dar
said that the government during the first quarter of the current
financial year had released Rs 143 billion against the total allocation
of Rs 340 billion under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
The
minister said figures regarding national economy would be announced on
quarterly basis and made public to know about the performance of the
economy.
He further said exchange rate stability was gradually
returning as exchange rate had improved during the last few days, adding
that the government was determined to boost foreign exchange reserves
up to $20 billion by the year 2016.
The government was closely
monitoring inflation and taking steps to bring it to single digit to
provide maximum relief to a common man in the country, he added.
Besides,
he said the government has also enhanced allocation for social safety
network and was bringing about 5.5 million families into the social
safety net by increasing the stipend money from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200.
The
minister said International Finance Corporation has announced trade
financing facility of $500 million while global Rupee Bond, Euro Bond of
$500 million would be launched and Financial Adviser (FA) in this
regard would be appointed shortly.
He added that the second tranche of $137 million from Islamic Development Banks (IDB) has been received.
The
minister said that the government was working on different power sector
development projects to overcome the energy issues for rapid economic
development, adding that work on Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project was
accelerated and expected to be completed by 2016. app