Budget to leave positive impact, not negative on common man: PM Aziz
01 June, 2006
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said the next budget will leave positive impact rather than negative on the people adding subsidy will not be withdrawn, however, the rich will reap no benefit from subsidy.
"The budget for the fiscal year 2006-7 will leave no negative impact on the common man. He will reap benefit upon benefit", Shaukat Aziz said this while talking to the senior journalists and editors of the newspapers here Wednesday in Prime Minister house.
Prime Minister informed National Economic Council (NEC) has approved development program amounting to Rs 415 billion. There is continuity in our policies and we are moving forward in line with a strategy.
" We have taken no U-turn from our vision. We are going side by side with globalization so that we could capitalize on the challenges", he remarked.
He announced GDP growth rate would hover between 6 to 8 percent. We will take advantage of our strategic importance", he added.
Talks are underway with Iran and Turkmenistan to lay gas pipeline. Negotiations are in progress with China as well in this respect. We will import more electricity from Iran and we will also purchase electricity from Central Asian Republics. We will build dams to ensure energy, water and food security. We will make allocations in next budget for this purpose.
He went on to say government is focusing on development of agriculture sector so that poverty could be eliminated from rural areas.
He disclosed that for the first time the foreign investment has touched the mark of $3.3 billion. It will further grow. Pakistan is open for business. We are active in ECO, SAARC, AASIAN and other international economic institution so that we could seek access to market and our exports get boost.
He held that the effects of development are visible but the challenges are still there. We are enhancing resources for the development of social sector. We will ensure stability in the prices.
He told that the inflation rate would stay 6.6 percent in next fiscal year. Investment activities have increased by 31 percent in private sector. The import of machinery has registered increase.
He reiterated that incentives would be announced in the next budget to overcome inflation and rationalize prices.
Citing to foreign debts he pointed out these have now reached 54.7 percent of GDP. The loans pose serious threat to the sovereignty of the country. We have got rid of IMF. WE will not allow national security and sovereignty to be hurt by any one. Therefore we have enacted Fiscal responsibility and debt limitations law. Loans have annihilated us.
He hinted that huge amount has been earmarked in the next year budget for water projects. The existing oil prices in the country are still less than neighboring country. Cement price was enhanced unjustly. Government has taken notice of it, therefore, the prices have come down. Legal and economic steps will be initiated to keep the prices under check, he declared.
Price regime will be put in place for essential commodities, he said adding sugar has been imported in substantial quantity and we are ensuring its smooth supply.
Subsidy system will not go. We want its benefit reaches common man rather than upper class, he underlined. We will give subsidy in the next budget, he told,. We are giving subsidy on electricity at present.
He held we have attained wheat out put equal to 217 million tonns. We are bringing back to the country Pakistani agriculture scientists from abroad. The largest research institution of Asia is being set up here.
He pointed out that Monopoly control authority will be restructured and run under Khalid Mirza.
To a question he said that level of direct tax recovery has increased. Because we have done away with policeman culture.
He reiterated government wants peace in Balochistan Due to integration of pe0pel in the process, development graph is ascending. The prevailing problem will be resolved through reconciliation. However law and order situation will be ensured at every cost.
He told no other tax except sales tax is imposed on diesel . We will curtail its prices if these go down in international market, he announced.
Responding to a question Prime Minister said he had got briefing from the administration of KESC on power crisis in Karachi. Development works in large number are in process in Karachi. Load shedding is caused due to certain technical problems as well, Modern system is being introduced in KESC and it will help improve the situation.
Information minister Muhammad Ali Durrani, state minister for information Tariq Azeem, secretary Shahid Rafi and PIO Ishfaq Gondal were also present on the occasion.