ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Tuesday said that the government was taking steps to present a business and investment-friendly budget.
The finance minister, addressing the representatives of Lahore and Faisalabad Chambers of Commerce and Industries, said the incumbent government had disappointed the internal and external critics who were talking about the bankruptcy of the country.
The minister, interacting with the businessmen in the context of proposals and recommendations regarding the federal budget for fiscal year 2023-24, said that the business community was more aware of the country’s situation. He said with the help and support of businessmen and industrialists, Pakistan came out of economic difficulties in 2013 when the country became the 24th largest economy in the world.
At that time, he said that banks and other international institutions were praising Pakistan, the policy rate was five per cent, foreign exchange reserves were high, the market capitalization had increased to more than 100 billion dollars and Pakistan had become the second most favoured country in the world for investment. At that time, Pakistan was also being predicted to join the G20, he added. “Unfortunately, within the last four years, the world’s 24th largest economy has been reduced to the 47th largest economy,” he regretted.
Ishaq Dar said that “we have to take the country forward, and the government will try to make a budget according to the situation without putting more burden on the business community”. He said the difficulties that the country was facing at the moment were the result of the policies of the PTI government in the last 4 years. The previous government had made this agreement, but since it was Pakistan’s commitment, we took the difficult decisions.
He said that with reference to the IMF program, the government had taken all the preliminary steps. He said the propaganda was spread with reference to Pakistan that the country was defaulting, also adding that by the grace of Allah the country would not go bankrupt. He further said that Pakistan would come out of the current economic difficulties as the government’s intentions were clear.