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Sunday Oct 06 2019

Minister says economy is stabalising


LAHORE: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar Sunday said the government had managed to stabilise the economy as well as improve rupee value against the dollar by taking instant and effective measures.

Addressing a news conference along with Punjab Industry and Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, he said country's economy would now enter into the growth phase.

He mentioned that after coming into power, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had to take tough decisions on economic front because country's current account deficit at that time was US$20 billion, while Pakistan had to payback US$10.5 billion foreign debt in addition to its mark-up, asserting that foreign exchange reverses depleted to half during last 17 months of PML-N government.

The minister said difficult time had over as economic indicators were now positive, citing that foreign exchange reserves and rupee value were stable today.

To a question, he explained that the government had to increase the power tariff so as to vacate huge power sector's circular debt.

The present government had also put in place effective measures which helped stop electricity theft with an estimated worth of Rs82 billion during the last one year, he added.

Hammad Azhar assured that the government would not opt such measures, which could be harmful to the business and trade activities, asserting that today, all institutions were on the same page to make Pakistan among top listed countries within next five years.

Following the Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision to initiate social safety programme for poverty-stricken segments of society, he said, the present government launched Ehsaas Programme that was also a role model for other countries as well.

To another question, Hammad Azhar said Sehat Insaf Card was part of Ehsaas programme that would provide health facility to every deserving family without any discrimination, asserting that federal authorities were all set to launch Sehat Insaf cards from Lahore.

Sehat Insaf Card having free medical cover up to Rs720,000 would facilitate around 40 million people (approximately eight million families) in Punjab.

To another query, he said India could not use the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as a political tool against Pakistan anymore.

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