ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, addressing the 16th National Security Workshop on the topic “Economic Policy of Pakistan” at the National Defence University, has said that the country’s GDP growth rate will be increased to 7 per cent by the year 2017-18.
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said that fiscal consolidation, power sector reforms, gas sector reforms, privatisation programme, debt management strategy and monetary management are government’s top priorities.
Discussing the macro-economic stability plan for the next three years the Minister said, “We have clearly set our targets. We shall take the GDP growth rate to 7pc, industrial growth to 8pc, fixed investment to GDP ratio to 22pc, fiscal deficit 4pc of the GDP, public debt under 57pc of the GDP, and inflation under 8pc. We will also bring tax to GDP ratio to 15pc, exports to $32 billion, foreign direct investment (FDI) to $5.5 billion and we have a commitment to take the foreign exchange reserves to $20 billion by the year 2017-18.”
Dar said the above can be achieved through democratic governance which requires supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law in order to reduce corruption, avoiding tax evasion, wasteful expenditure and misuse of power. We wish to follow sound macroeconomic policies to reduce fiscal and current account deficits, curb inflationary pressures and increase foreign exchange reserves. The Minister emphasised full exploitation of the technological potential in industry, agriculture and information technology and optimum utilisation of the country’s physical and economic resources for a better economic future of the country.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the World Bank led by its Director MsSatu Kristina Kahkonon met Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Ishaq Dar thanked the World Bank for approving Country Partnership Strategy (CPS 2015-19) which is aligned with the Government’s economic development agenda/ priorities i.e. transforming the energy sector; supporting private sector development; reaching out to the vulnerable/ poor; and leveraging regional markets.
He also appreciated the Bank for approving financing of CASA-1000 and Dasu Hydro Power Projects for Pakistan, which will help reduce electricity shortages and play a vital role in economic growth of the country. The Minister acknowledged Bank’s support of $1 billion for Development Policy Credits for Fiscally Sustainable and Inclusive Growth and Pakistan’s First Power Sector Reform Development Policy Financing.
The Minister on this occasion expressed commitment for continuous reforms in the areas of energy; taxation and revenue mobilization; private and financial sector development; financial inclusion; secured transactions framework; and expansion of social protection. He also appreciated effective administration of Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/FATA and Balochistan. The Minister said Pakistan looked to WB’s support on energy sector development and construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam.
Satu Kahkonon said that with Pakistan achieving the $15 billion forex reserves mark, Pakistan will become IBRD partner. She also referred to the meeting between MD World Bank, Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where the former delivered a WB President’s letter to PM Nawaz Sharif reiterating support to Pakistan with regard to flood affectees and IDPs besides offering assistance for polio and other immunisation programmes in Pakistan.
Director Satu Kahkonon hoped for active interaction between Pakistan and the WB aiming at future cooperation.