KARACHI: The Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the government would give top priority to quality growth in agriculture, manufacturing and the services sectors and tackle energy crisis by rapidly generating additional power. He was speaking at a seminar on “Expanding Frontiers of Financial Access in Pakistan” held in connection with the celebration of 60th anniversary of the State Bank of Pakistan here on Tuesday. He said the government will take all necessary measures to promote private sector development which it believes is the real engine of growth and the main source of employment generation.
He said overhauling of tax policy and tax administration to ensure fairer distribution of tax burden to the society will be their key policy objective. He said the government has provided a comprehensive incentive regime for agriculture sector in the budget. Agriculture credit is likely to reach an all time high of two hundred billion rupees and will benefit at least two million borrowers. He said foreign investment in agriculture sector will be encouraged to increase productivity, and develop cultivable areas. Large tracts of land will be made available to foreign investors to induct both capital and technology in the farming sector.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said under the government’s special initiative on white revolution, one point five billion rupees have been earmarked for the livestock and dairy farming. Similarly over one billion rupees have been allocated for development of fish farms and a fisheries training centre in Gawadar.
The Prime Minister said the last financial year was very challenging for the country as many external and internal shocks along with policy inactions severely impacted the national economy.
He said the high growth in macro-economic imbalances shows that the country was living beyond its financial affordability.He said the challenges are daunting but expressed his government’s resolve to restore macro-economic stability in a reasonable timeframe. He said in the new budget they have taken measures to reduce fiscal deficit to four point seven percent of GDP which would be brought down to around three to three point five percent in the medium term. He hoped that the State Bank would play its critical role in achieving macro-economic stability through prudent monetary and exchange rate policies.
The Prime Minister said the government intends to sustain the growth momentum in the range of six to seven percent in the next five years. Economic liberalization, deregulation and privatization in a transparent manner will be the core principles of their economic reform agenda.-SANA