In a positive development, Pakistan seek extra $3 billion financing

In a positive development, Pakistan seek extra $3 billion financing

ISLAMABAD - Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh says economic indicators have shown significant improvement in last five months and are being acknowledged by international financial institutions.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar and Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said current account deficit reduced by 35 percent last year and has seen more improvement in the last five months.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said portfolio investment and Foreign Direct Investment are also seeing upward trajectory.

He said World Bank's President during his visit to Pakistan appreciated the economic performance. He also indicated to further improve relations of the bank with Pakistan.

Advisor on Finance said Asian Development Bank, which is one of the biggest development partners of Pakistan, has increased its financing to Islamabad by 3 billion dollars after seeing the progress.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said IMF team during its visit reviewed the economic performance and expressed satisfaction on not only meeting the targets but also surpassing these.

Consequently, they recommended their board to release the 500 million dollar tranche to Pakistan on immediate basis.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said world renowned rating agency Moody's has upgraded Pakistan's credit rating from negative to stable.

He said the whole world gets the knowledge that the economic reforms process in Pakistan is well on track and is being appreciated by international financial institutions.

He said the portfolio investment has seen investment of around one billion dollars.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said the trust of the domestic investors has also increased on economic policies of the government. He said the reserves of State Bank of Pakistan are also seeing increase.

He said revenue collection increased by 16 percent in last five months.

He expressed optimism that non-revenue target of 1200 billion rupees will be achieved.

Dr Hafeez Shaikh said electricity and gas are being subsidized by the government to increase business and exports of the country.

He said government has decided to give 300 billion rupees to business community at subsidized rates as loans to spur the economic activities.

Responding to questions, Finance Advisor said price of petrol was not increased in last four months out of five.

He said government is providing subsidy to seventy five percent of electricity consumers.

The Advisor said tax refunds worth thirty billion rupees were distributed among the businessmen in cash form.

Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar speaking on the occasion said bringing Pakistan out of economic crisis was a big challenge but now we are moving towards stability.

The Minister said FBR's revenue growth has witnessed 17 percent increase.

Responding to a question regarding export refunds, Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi said refund system has been made automated and no human has any role in it.

He said FBR is working to address issues regarding submission forms of export refunds.