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Ishaq Dar meets IMF delegation in Dubai

04 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday said the present government is following economic reform agenda and nearly all the economic indicators are on track.

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday said the present government is following economic reform agenda and nearly all the economic indicators are on track.

He stated this while chairing a meeting with an IMF delegation in Dubai, said a finance ministry press statement issued here. The meeting was, among others, attended by senior officials of the ministry.

The minister said that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) gave a detailed economic review of Pakistan's economy in the meeting.

First quarterly results of economic growth in Pakistan indicate that GDP had shown a growth of 5 per cent in the first quarter as compared to 2.9 per cent of the same period last year, he said.

Dar said that Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, which is an autonomous body, had decided that henceforth the National Account Base would be changed after every ten years.

The next base year would be 2015 and another in 2025, which was a major advance in country's statistical capability and determination to have accessibility of evolving economic conditions over a shorter period of time compared to annual accounts, he added.

Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM), the minister said, had shown a positive growth of 5.2 per cent during July-November as compared to 2.2 per cent in the comparable period last fiscal year.

Due to better energy and gas supply, fertilizer posted the growth of 32.8 per cent, electronics 18.9 per cent, paper & board 19.6 per cent, leather products 12.9 per cent, petroleum products 8.8 per cent, iron and steel products 4.4 per cent, food beverages & tobacco 7.7 per cent, chemicals 3.2 per cent and textile 2.1 per cent, he added.

He said that the credit to private sector also increased to Rs231 billion as compared to Rs53 billion during January fiscal year 2014 over January fiscal year 2013.

The finance minister said that arrival of important crops such as cotton crop had posted a growth of 7.5 per cent over last year as well, while other agriculture crops production were also likely to give comfort to growth targets.

Dilating on the external front, he said that exports were showing positive result at 3.2 per cent over last year.

The value added exports are taking place which will be further increased due to accessing GSP-plus status, he added.

Senator Ishaq Dar said that the imports increased by 3.9 per cent higher than last year, adding that the import of machinery at 26 per cent over last year is the indication of economic activities taking place.

He said remittances showed an increase of 9.5 per cent higher than last year which was helping Balance of Payment (BOP) position and added that he was hopeful that there would be further improvement in BOP position and foreign exchange reserves on account of expected foreign inflows.

The important indicator which the minister said the headline inflation which was measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) had been contained to 7.9 per cent in January 2014 as compared to 8.1 per cent January 2013.

Similarly core inflation was also contained to single digit at 8.4 per cent against 10.3 percent last year, he added.

The minister said that this was achieved due to government's prudent expenditure management, effective monetary policy and close monitoring of inflation indicators.

Senator Ishaq Dar also highlighted that the expenditure management helped in reducing fiscal deficit during Q2 at 2.2 per cent against 2.6 pc during Q2 of last year.

The Federal Bureau of Revenue's collection in January 2014 was Rs167 billion indicating an increase of 26 per cent over the collection of January last year was a positive signal to achieving full year target.

IMF mission chief Jeffery Franks appreciated efforts of the PML-N government and opined that macro-economic situation of Pakistan was favouarble.

"The IMF views that the government of Pakistan is fully committed to the reform agenda," he added.


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