Ministries directed to achieve IMF targets: Tarar

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Federal Minister for Information Attaullah Tarar addresses a press conference in Lahore on March 31, 2024. — Screengrab/YouTube/HUM News Live
Federal Minister for Information Attaullah Tarar addresses a press conference in Lahore on March 31, 2024. — Screengrab/YouTube/HUM News Live
  • Finance Ministry directed to tackle inflation, minister says.
  • Ministry of Commerce to address trade deficit, curb smuggling.
  • Ministries to be held accountable in cabinet meetings, assures Tarar.

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar Sunday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the ministries to achieve the targets set out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressing that the government has also chalked out a mechanism of self-accountability in this regard.

"The prime minister has set out realistic target-oriented tasks for the ministries," Tarar said while speaking to the media in Lahore.

His remarks come after PM Shehbaz, while chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet, set out a five-year roadmap for economic revival on Saturday.

"I have shared broad parameters of a five-year plan with all the ministries, specifying their targets," the prime minister said.

Highlighting that the premier has dispatched a 70-page document to the ministries in this regard, he stressed that ministries have been given short, medium and long term targets.

Stressing that ministries, who have been notified in writing with regard to their targets, will be held accountable for their performance and progress in cabinet meetings, the information minister underscored that authorities have been directed to devise a modern system for monitoring the targets.

On the targets given to the Ministry of Finance, Tarar said that the ministry has been tasked to rein in inflation, restructure loans and digitisation of the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR).

Meanwhile, as per the minister, the Ministry of Commerce has been given the targets of reducing the trade deficit, curbing the scourge of smuggling along with the April 30 deadline to ensure the approval of a national industrial policy.

"The Ministry of Interior has been tasked with carrying out a crackdown against illegal weapons," he added.

Addressing the issue of privatisation, Tarar said that the Ministry of Privatisation has been made responsible for the privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) following the successful negotiations regarding the future of the national carrier.

"The government will receive the revenue generated due to the privatisation of the PIA," the minister noted.

Furthermore, elaborating on the government's approach towards the IT sector, Tarar said the they will try to get social media companies such as X, Instagram and Meta (Facebook) to open their offices in the country.

Continuing on the Centre's plans, the information minister said that a human rights report will be prepared by September 2024.

"Targets were also set regarding illegal foreign nationals in Pakistan," Tarar said.

Meanwhile, an e-portal will also be established concerning the laws passed in the country.

On the issue of education, he stressed that relevant ministries have been directed to address the issue of children who are not enrolled in schools.

"Target-based tasks have also been given regarding trade agreements with friendly countries," he noted.

"The committee set up to reduce government expenditure will submit its report in a few days", Tarar said while commenting on the government's bid to cut its expenditures adding that neither the cabinet members were taking any salaries nor they will be receiving any privileges.