Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Tuesday said that the fiscal position of the government is stable, and right now it does not need to borrow money from the local market.

In a joint press conference with Minister for Information Shibli Faraz, the advisor to the PM said the current account of the government is in surplus by $792 million. He said although the economy received financial shocks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now on the path of recovery.

He added that the number of Ehsaas Program beneficiaries will be increased from the existing 4 million to 7 million. Dr Shaikh said “despite economic setbacks, the government gave a relief package of Rs 1200 billion to low income segment of the society who lost their jobs because of COVID-19.”

He said the government is giving special attention to backward areas and is releasing development funds to these areas on a priority basis, pointing out that special cash grants were given Tribal Areas.

Hafeez Shaikh said that the investment climate of the country has improved significantly and because of the government’s friendly policies confidence of local and foreign investors has been restored. He said the international community is now seriously considering investing in Pakistan. The finance advisor said that the construction industry is taking off and the projects in which World Bank and Asian Development Bank have lent money have picked up pace as well

However, he cautioned that if the tax net and revenue generation is not improved then the country will remain dependent on external funding to meet its expenditures. He said to overcome economic and financial loss during the lockdown, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) extended an additional loan of $1.4 billion to Pakistan.


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