Govt sets target of reducing fiscal deficit to 4%, Senate told
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar has said the government has set the target of reducing fiscal deficit to four percent in the next one or two years.
Speaking in the Senate Friday during Question Hour, he said our fiscal deficit for the first quarter of current financial year remained within the target rather according to the IMF we over-performed in this area.
Hammad Azhar said the government took difficult decisions to save the country from default. He said we retired over ten billion dollars of debt in the first year which is the highest made by any government. He said foreign exchange reserves are also on upward trajectory.
The Minister said revenue collection has also witnessed growth during the first half of current fiscal year and efforts are afoot to enhance non-tax revenue. He said the private sector will be provided with an enabling environment to create job opportunities for the youth.
Hammad Azhar said the government has forecast to gradually reduce the debt to GDP ratio. For this purpose we will enhance our revenues and foreign exchange reserves besides cutting expenditures.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati told the House that the process has been started to get approved regulations to ensure safety standards in the vehicles.
Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar said that commerce and finance ministries and the State Bank of Pakistan are in consultation to revive the sick industrial units. He pointed out that the flawed policies of previous governments adversely damaged these units. He said different proposals including restructuring of their loans are being considered to revive them and enhance the exports.
Speaking on a motion, the Senators stressed the need for women emancipation and empowerment. They said the political parties need to work together for this purpose. They said the provincial governments should also come up with legislation to ensure women rights in inheritance as has been done in the federal capital. They also deplored the incidents of violence against women and demanded those involved in such incidents should be brought to justice.
The House will now meet again on Monday at 3 p.m.