FAISALABAD: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said policy continuity is imperative for sustained economic growth and the business community must openly support Prime Minister Imran Khan for his success to pull the country out of the economic crisis, even in the face of the corona challenge.
Addressing the second day of the Pakistan Economic Conference-2022 (PEC-2022), organized by the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here on Saturday, he said Pakistan had only reached a growth rate of 5% only thanks to prudent and sustainable policies. of the government. However, the sustainability of growth is important and in this regard, the private sector must play its part, he added.
He referred to the private sector as the engine of growth and said that the role of government was to facilitate and provide an enabling environment and in this regard it had developed a close, viable and productive liaison with the business community in over the past three and a half years. .
He said the current account deficit was about $20 billion when the government took office. The situation was more critical since it had to repay loan maturities of Rs 3,000 billion. Similarly, tax collection also stagnated at 3.8 trillion rupees, he added.
He said the PTI government’s stance was pro-business and he had established contact with exporters before coming to power. “We are proud that the first textile policy, formulated by the business community, has been adopted by the PTI government. We have done our best to correct the imbalances and disparities between the industrial sector of the different provinces,” he added.
“We have also ensured the supply of gas to the export sector at 6.5 cents per MMBTU, which has played a key role in improving exports and In-Sha-Allah, during this year the government expected $21 billion in revenue from textile exports.”
He said different measures are being taken to offset the negative impact of COVID-19 and a proactive monetary policy has been announced to give impetus to the industrial sector.
“The State Bank of Pakistan has announced a special salary package while Rs 450 billion has been disbursed under the TERF (Temporary Economic Refinancing Facility),” he said and added that under the Under this program, manufacturers imported new machinery and technology at subsidized rates.
He said this was the second year in a row that our current account deficit has remained below $500 million. “Similarly, imports have also registered a decline of 18%,” he said and added that the government was not borrowing loans from the State Bank of Pakistan as this amount was now provided to the sector. private under the TERF and SME policy at a subsidized rate.
Continuing, he said ministers were unavailable during the tenure of the last government, but are now available on a phone call to resolve issues in the business community.
He said the government was focusing entirely on uplifting the youth. “We try to produce entrepreneurs instead of job seekers,” he added.
“Through our policies, we expect to earn $38 billion from the export of services and goods,” he said and mentioned a special stimulus package for the industrial sector. Under the deal, Rs 50 billion is being provided to subsidize electricity for the export sector, he added.
He said that Pakistan was among the three countries that managed to emerge from the negative impact of corona and that the NCOC declared Pakistan a non-corona country because we managed to vaccinate our entire population.
“We used to export 120 to 150 items to China under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but now during the second phase of that agreement, the number of such items has increased to 350. “, he added.
He said, “This is the second year that we have harvested bumper crops. As we have produced 2 million tonnes of additional sugar, its price has therefore come down to 70 rupees per kg”.
He said loans under construction of 192 billion rupees were distributed on December 20, 2020, which recorded an increase of 170 billion rupees. Under the amnesty scheme, projects worth 600 billion rupees have been registered which would generate economic activities of 7 trillion rupees besides creating 1.2 million jobs, a- he added.
He said the government was building 10 dams to provide cheap electricity in addition to improving the water storage capacity of 1300 million acre feet. Previously, Mr. Atif Munir Sheikh, President of the FCCI and the organizer of the PEC, Mr. Azhar Chaudhry, welcomed the guests and appreciated the participants, speakers and panelists.