Policy being pursued to take economy towards growth mode: Finance Minister

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has said that the incumbent government is pursuing a policy to take the economy towards growth mode.

While addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, the minister said that the goal will be achieved by incentivizing the Industries, Agriculture, and Housing Sectors, adding that it will provide job opportunities to the people.

Unveiling the way forward, he said that 12 Working Groups have been constituted in the Economic Advisory Council to frame short, medium and long term policies for different sectors.

The finance minister said that price stability is our key focus and it is the aim of the government to check inflation to provide relief to the common man.

Shaukat Tarin said that the scope of social protection will be further expanded under the Ehsaas Program. He added that healthcare, employment and skills development will also be made part of it.

The finance minister pointed out that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has done some good work to enhance the revenue collection.

However, more programs will be announced in the next budget 2021-22 to eliminate harassment to encourage the people to pay taxes.

The minister said that there was a growth of 57 percent in the revenue collection in April 2021 as compared to the corresponding period last year. He said that it is our target to further expand the tax base.

The finance minister said that reforms in the Energy Sector will be introduced and spending on the Agriculture Sector will be increased to strengthen this vital sector of the economy.

Shaukat Tarin said that we also want to bring the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the export oriented industries in order to bolster our exports. He said that there is a great potential of growth in the IT. Its exports will remain US$ 2 billion in 2021 and these can be enhanced to US$ 8 billion in the next two to three years, the minister said.

The minister further said that a program will be introduced to increase loans for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Similarly, Kamyab Jawan and Kamyab Kisan programs will be further strengthened to bring prosperity at the grassroots level.

The finance minister said that Pakistan will not come out of the IMF program but it will seek space from the financial institution given the current situation of COVID-19. He said that we have already held some good talks with the IMF and the World Bank.

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