LAHORE: The last financial year 2016-17 was not good as the revenue collection showed a shortfall and expenditures shoot up and the deficit reached at 5.8 percent.
These views were expressed by Miftah Ismail, the Adviser to the Prime Minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs with the status of Federal minister while responding to the questions of reporters at the APTMA House, Lahore.
Replying to a question asked by Customs Today, Miftah Ismail said that when the PML-N took over the reign of government from the PPP, the budget deficit was 8.2 percent of the GDP which was brought down to six percent the very next year while it was at 4.5 percent during the third year of the present government’s tenure. However, during the last financial year 2016-17 was not good as the revenue collection showed a shortfall and expenditures shoot up and the deficit reached at 5.8 percent.
The government is striving hard to keep the budget deficit below five percent of the GDP. He explained that the PML-N government had prioritised three main things at the start of its tenure and made strenuous efforts in ensuring landmark law and order situation, abundance of electricity, gas and economic development. Now it has successfully achieved its objectives. “We had to make the economy strong; we are doing it and have done it to a great extent.
This year we would control our expenditures and ensure check on spending and if we fail, it is against the vision of Nawaz Sharif. We have to do everything to control our spending to keep the budget deficit to below five percent of the GDP.
Ismail said that exports declined during the past three years but during the current financial year in December exports have improved to 15.9 percent while imports declined to 9.7 percent which is a good trend and the government is focusing on improving the export volume during the next six months.
“Rs 4 billion more textile exports can be enhanced with simple measures for which we are discussing with the textile millers and following the acceptance of proposals with the Prime Minister, it is hoped that a package would be announced which would help open the closed textile industry ensuring employment opportunities to the masses.
He said that the government had worked hard during its tenure for increasing electricity capacity, gas availability would intern prove beneficial for the economic uplift of the country. New textile industry like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would be installed in the country; export rebate issue would be resolved within the less than the period of two months.
“The legal issue with the export rebate would be sorted out and where there is no issue with rebate refunds payments, they would be paid at once to the claimants” Ismail said, adding that during the last financial year Pakistan registered 5.28 percent growth and in the current financial year it is all set to post a growth of six percent.
He added that following the availability of full range of electricity, gas and full uses of infrastructure developed by the government economic prosperity is a must.
Miftah said that Pakistan’s economy is a real economy it is not a speculative one and we are bound to make economic prosperity.