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Body constituted to authenticate economic figures: Dar

Body constituted to authenticate economic figures: Dar

ddarISLAMABAD: The first meeting of Economic Advisory Council (EAC) was held in Islamabad on Saturday with Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar in the chair.

After thorough deliberations the Council identified power sector‚ exploration of natural resources‚ agriculture‚ social sector‚ resource mobilization‚ public sector disinvestment and foreign remittances as areas where its expertise could be utilized.

The Finance Minister said that the government is committed to transparency and has therefore constituted an autonomous body called the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) so that authenticity of economic figures can be ensured.

The IMF diligence helped the present government in re-engaging with international institutions. There is no harm to borrow and create assets but certainly bad if it is used for current expenditures.

The Minister said the IMF team is expected in the end of this month. He said that IFC and other international commercial banks and organizations are approaching the government and he was confident that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves would reach 16 billion dollars by end of this year.

He also disclosed that the remittances have shown an increase of 9% which reached 7.78 billion dollars while exports have increased to 12.64 billion dollars showing an increase of 5% this year.

The commercial banks had increased credit to the private sector to 250 billion rupees against 73 billion rupees which reflected increase in economic activity. Similarly‚ the revenue collection has also shown a growth of 17% in the last 5 months as compared same period last year.

Turning to the exchange rate situation the Minister said speculators were responsible for depreciation of Rupee against dollar and said that comments on exchange rate issue should be made in responsible manner. All members of EAC endorsed the view point of Finance Minister on the issue and assured him of their full support as it was a sensitive issue.

Mr Farrukh Qayyum said that the way the auction of spectrum license is carried out would set the pace for planned disinvestment by the government.

Mr Farooq Rehmatullah offered to make a presentation on Pakistan’s Hydro Carbon potential in the next meeting of EAC.

It was decided that the next meeting of the Council would be held in the 2nd week of next month.

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