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Prime Minister Briefed On Half-Yearly Performance Of Economy

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood called on Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here at the Prime Minister’s House and briefed him on half yearly promising performance of economy starting from July to December 2011.

The Prime Minister said that he would give a policy statement in Parliament soon about the salient features of economy and the achievements of the government in this regard.

The Minister for Finance said that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the current FY-2011-12 was expected to be around 4%. He said that it was for the first time after 24 months that inflationary pressures had begun to recede in December as compared to the same period last year. All three price indexes namely Consumer Price Index (CPI), Wholesale Price Index (WPI), and Sensitive Price Index (SPI) came down to single digit range and SPI fell as low as 3%.

The Minister said that the external sector of economy continues to give strong performance. Exports, which registered an impressive achievement of $ 25 billion last year, have continued to grow and increased by 4% in the first six months of current financial year as compared to the same period last year, the Minister added.

Finance Minister said that remittances during the same period increased by 19%, averaging more than a billion dollar per month. He said that on the budget side, the government measures to increase the tax revenue had shown remarkable growth as during the first six months of current FY-2011-12.

Federal Board of Revenue had collected 840 billion rupees, representing an increase of 27% as compared to last year. This achievement could be considered as unprecedented increase in the revenue collection, the Minister said.

The Finance Minister further said that the government had also continued to exercise strict control on the expenditure side. Total expenditure during the first half of the current financial year was kept below 50% of budgetary expenditure at 45%.

The Minister said that the foreign exchange reserves remained above $17 billion and the government would pay back a tranche of $1.2 billion to International Monetary Fund next month, which had been allocated in the budget.

The Prime Minister was apprised of the upcoming auction of 3-G Spectrum and mobile license for which advertisements had appeared in the newspapers and transactions as planned would be undertaken in the next few weeks.

The Prime Minister was also briefed about the progress of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for which over Rs.100 billion had been released so far to complete the projects of electricity, highways, water and other areas of national priority.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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