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Current account deficit may hit $7b

Current account deficit may hit $7b

ISLAMABAD: The government has presented a balanced, and development and growth-oriented budget which envisages several pro-business measures despite the economic crunch and a number of domestic and international challenges said Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Chief Executive Mian Kashif Ashfaq.

According to a statement issued on Thursday, he appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment to the revival of economic activities besides giving incentives to the industry for boosting the volume of exports.

“The government has allocated maximum funds for development projects,” he noted. “The federal government has taken positive steps to develop the national economy and has to give maximum relief to the industrial sector to achieve the objective.”

He appreciated the government for allocating maximum funds for education, agriculture, livestock, and energy.

Ashfaq was of the view that zero-rating of duties on 1,600 items including raw material would reduce the cost of doing business. He emphasised that after proper reforms, the current account deficit would fall from $12 billion to $7 billion.

“The government has allocated Rs100 billion for dams and water projects, which will help get rid of water scarcity and generate cheap hydel power,” he pointed out.

The government increased salaries and pensions by up to 10% in addition to enhancing the minimum wage of workers to Rs17,500 per month, which were very appreciable, he said. He noted that the government had introduced innovative tax reforms to ensure that the rich paid the taxes while low and middle-income groups were given relaxation.