Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani has said that the Government is pursuing a long term structural reform program to put Pakistan on a trajectory of sustainable economic growth and development. He highlighted the positive trend in the national economy as a result of steps taken by his government like substantial increase in exports, record home remittances and all time high foreign exchange reserves, which he said, were reflective of the sound economic fundamentals of the country.
The Prime Minister underlined that despite Pakistan’s current economic difficulties, his government will remain steadfast in its commitment to introduce and implement reforms. In this connection, he added, the Government team is meeting the opposition to evolve political consensus on resource mobilization and long term national economic strategy. He was talking to a three member IMF delegation led by Mr. Masood Ahmed, Director IMF for Middle East and Central Asia at the PM’s House here this morning.
Referring to the progress of the Government’s economic reforms agenda, the Prime Minister said the RGST had already been introduced and passed through the Senate and intensive consultations were now being held with the major political parties of the country to build the national consensus for their passage through the National Assembly. He said the State Bank amendment bill has been passed while Banking Companies Ordinance is now under consideration of the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister said that the Government is restructuring the public sector corporation to convert the loss earning enterprises into a viable and profit earning entities which will also help to cut down expenditure on subsidy to these corporations. He mentioned that the Government had achieved macroeconomic stability despite the global recession and war on terror but the devastating floods have compounded the economic difficulties. He pointed out that Pakistan is single handedly catering for the needs of 3.5 million Afghan refugees without any help from the international community. He urged the friends of Pakistan to honor their commitments. He added that the floods affectees cannot be made to wait for their early rehabilitation. He said that as far as the government of Pakistan was concerned, it had already drastically cut its development and non-development expenditure to divert the resources for providing relief to the flood victims.
The Prime Minister said that after enactment of 18th Constitutional Amendment, the provincial governments’ role in financial discipline has increased many folds. He further said that while the government of Pakistan was implementing the economic reform programme in the interest of the country, the IMF should continue to help Pakistan to overcome economic challanges.
The director said that the IMF supports Pakistan’s direction to bring in financial discipline. He thanked the Prime Minister for his time and appreciated his resolve to implement economic reform agenda.
The meeting was also attended by the Federal Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister of State Mrs. Hina Rabbani Khar, Governor State Bank, Mr. Shahid H. Kardar, Dy. Chairman Planning Commission, Dr. Nadeem ul Haq, Assistant Director IMF, Mr. Adnan Mazaeri, Senior Resident Representative IMF in Pakistan, Mr. Paul Ross, secretary and the chairman FBR.
Input from Agencies