ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that the administration under Prime Minister Imran Khan introducing long-term, medium-term and short-term plans and roadmaps in different major sectors for empowering economic growth in Pakistan.
The finance minister while addressing a pre-budget webinar on Sunday said the PTI government resolutely supports the private sector as an engine of growth and believes in building institutional capacity for sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the country.
Shaukat Tarin further said since the government lacked resources to invest in the growth of all sectors; it had decided to focus on 12 major areas, including truism, agriculture, housing and power, which would put the country in the direction to sustainable and inclusive growth.
The Economic Advisory Council of Pakistan had been tasked with devising long-term, medium-term and short-term plans and roadmaps for growth in 12 major sectors, he informed.
The finance minister said it would lead to planned growth and give a roadmap that could be followed by not just the PTI government, however, also subsequent governments.
The government planned to add Rs1 trillion to the revenue scheme next year, while the projected revenue collected for this year was Rs4.8 trillion, which would be a first in the country’s history he added.
He further said he aimed to increase next year’s revenue collection to Rs5.8 trillion, adding that the growth rate of the economy which was around 1.5 percent prior to the coronavirus plague went negative following the health crisis in the country.
However, the finance minister said the government introduced stimulus packages for the needy and the business sector, respectively, which resulted in the stabilization of the economy and curtailing of account deficit.
Tarin said, “Yet economic growth showed no improvement for long. The economy had started to get better this year as large-scale manufacturing and exports began to surprise and major crops, except cotton, were robust,” he added.
Pakistan witnessed the economy grow by 3.94pc when people expected at the start of this fiscal year that it (growth rate) will be around 1.5pc, he said.
The finance minister with respect to the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), said the government planned to spend Rs650 billion on it this year, while he aimed to increase the spending to Rs900bn next year.
“We used to be a food-exporting country, however, now we are a net food-importing country,” he regretted, stressing the need to spotlight on developing and improving all elements of the agriculture chain.
The government had a progressive plan in place for the purpose and incentives would be offered to the agriculture sector in the upcoming budget, he added.
The minister assured that there would not be any increase in electricity tariff in the near future, as committed by PM Khan, but pointed out the need for bringing stability in the power sector.
He said the government planned to adopt a “bottoms-up” approach so that the bottom rung of the economy could benefit from the economic growth. The minister also called for investing in the development of human resources, improving the financial sector and removing regional disparity in resource allocation.