Islamabad: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the present government has turned around the economy and all economic indicators are showing positive trends. Giving an overview of government’s eight month performance in economic sector at a news conference in Islamabad he said GDP has witnessed growth while decline in inflation has also been endorsed by various international financial institutions including the International Monetary Fund. Inflation level remained 8.6 percent while GDP remained 4.4 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The Finance Minister said tax collection has witnessed a growth of 17.7 percent. We have collected 1348 billion rupees in the first eight months as compared to 1145 billion rupees collected in the corresponding period last year. Budget deficit has been reduced to 3.1 percent as compared to 4.1 percent last year.
Ishaq Dar said the exports surged to 16. 86 billion dollars in the first eight months as compared to 15.8 billion dollars last year. About the appreciation of Pakistani rupee‚ the Finance Minister said this reflects the confidence of investors in Pakistani economy. He said a stable currency will have salutary impact on the economy of the country and prices of petroleum products are likely to come down as a result of the appreciation of the currency. He said that government is determined to give a boost to the agriculture sector and for this purpose State Bank of Pakistan has been asked to increase small agricultural loan limit from 336 to 380 billion rupees this year.
The Finance Minister said stock markets have also achieved an unprecedented growth of thirty seven percent which is a record in the national history. He said foreign exchange reserves have surged to 9.52 billion dollars and hopefully the target of ten billion rupees will be achieved by the end of this month. Ishaq Dar said fiscal deficit which is biggest evil has been decreased from eight point eight percent to eight percent and the government will bring it at six percent by the end of this fiscal year. He was confident that fiscal deficit will be brought at the level of four percent at the end of tenure of this government.