Islamabad, February 09, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar while addressing a reception of PML (N) party workers said that bold decisions of the present government had helped to turnaround Pakistan’s economy. He said that Pakistan would soon emerge economically as a strong country.
The Finance Minister said that there were two options to overcome fiscal deficit; slashing the expenditure and increasing the revenue. He stated that the present government had been working on both options at the same time. The Minister said the government had cut down public sector expenditure by 30 percent across the board. He further said that all discretionary funds of the Ministers had been done away. These austerity measures had helped to spare funds for development of the country and income support for the poor people, added.
Senator Ishaq Dar said that a number of measures were taken to enhance country’s revenue collection, resultantly revenue collection had increased by 26 percent in January this year over the collection of January last year, he said. He said that the government was trying to improve GDP ratio which was one of the lowest in the region. He further said that efforts were being made to increase the number of tax assesses; resultantly 10 percent more assesses had filed tax returns and tax recovery had also increased by 16 percent.
The Finance Minister stressed upon the audience to send their foreign remittances through banking channels. He said the remittance had increased by 9.5 percent in last seven months. He said that State Bank of Pakistan had been tasked to work out a system in cooperation with private banks for expeditious delivery of foreign remittance within one or two days.
He pointed out that the government of Pakistan bears the bank charges on delivery of foreign remittances, however, the previous administration failed to pay back the due amount to private banks which had negative impact. Since the present government had paid half of the due amount to the banks while the remaining amount would be disbursed soon, therefore, the banks were encouraged to take serious interest in this business.
The Minister said that our government was cognizant of the issues confronting the overseas Pakistanis but we were determined to address these issues sincerely and squarely. The Minister said that expatriate Pakistanis were playing an important role in the development of the country through their remittances and projection of positive image of Pakistan. He further said that overseas Pakistanis were Ambassador of their country. He assured that the present government would take all measures to extend all possible facilities to them.
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