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Rupees can be printed but dollars cannot be printed : Abdul Hafiz Sheikh

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 12 : Abdul Hafiz Sheikh assistant to Prime Minister (PM) on finance said Pakistan could not succeed in meeting the target of collection of tax due to which we had to rely upon other countries.

He said this in his address to National Assembly (NA) here Wednesday.

He held creation of Pakistan was but a miracle. The hopes of Pakistani people have not been materialized during 72 years.

How can we take forward the country now and the other countries have outpaced us why. If we have to make advancement then we will have to place focus on our people. No Prime Minister has completed its tenure.

He went on to say Pakistan has failed in convincing other countries during 72 years that other countries should come to Pakistan and make investment. Pakistan could not succeed in collecting tax fully due to which we had to rely upon others. If some improvement had come it could not sustain, he added.

He said when PTI government came to power then debt amounting to Rs 30000 billion stood against Pakistan and we were to repay Rs 5000 billions during 2018-19. The real cause behind the crisis was Rs 30000 billion loan. The current account deficit was the ever biggest one in the history of Pakistan which stood 20 billion dollars.

He remarked rupee can be printed but dollar cannot be printed. The previous government had fixed currency. Dollars were thrown to do so and its result was that Pakistan foreign exchange reserves dipped from 18 billions to 9 billion. There are requirements of election and popularity.

Rupees can be printed but dollars cannot be printed

He said fiscal deficit stood at 2300 billion rupees while income was at low ebb,.

Informing the house about government performance finance minister said IMF gave report about Pakistan that all the targets have been achieved. MOODIES is also upgrading our ranking. Foreign investors want to make investment in Pakistan. World bank has said Pakistan is ranked among the first ten countries with reference to business facilities.

Replying to criticism on Baza Baqir, a member of Pakistan economic team he said Pakistan should be proud of Raza Baqir that he abandoned IMF employment and came to Pakistan. Those who are not allowed to penetrate in IMF they are taking jibe at Raza Baqir He wants to work for Pakistan.

Hammering the previous government he said dollar was kept cheaper in the past deliberately. Pakistan had to suffer deficit due to past loans.

Presenting report on grant of relief to people Abdul Hafiz Sheikh said Rs 100 billion have been earmarked to allow subsidy to people on electricity. We are giving subsidy on 72 percent electricity.

Rupees can be printed but dollars

He indicated army budget was also freezed. Army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa played a positive role in this respect.

He underlined if we need dollars then we have to scale up exports because dollars will come due to increase in exports.

He pointed out exports was reduced to zero during the last 5 years. Dollar was kept cheaper deliberately. Those engaged in exports were disappointed.

He warned if we did not face challenge then we will fail. Country agriculture sector has not made progress so far. Growth rate has also remained equal to zero. We have failed in improving energy sector. Companies could not succeed in collecting bills. We had stepped into crisis and no one was ready to provide loan. Dollars had also depleted. It was necessary for people that country should be saved from becoming bankrupt.

Rupees can be printed but dollars cannot be printed

We borrowed 8 billion dollars from friendly countries to save the country from bankruptcy. We acquired 3 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia under the head of oil.

Government went to IMF in 2008 and the government which came in 2013 also went to IMF, he said. No one goes to IMF happily. We got benefit of obtaining loans from IMF on easy installments which improved Pakistan image in the comity of nations;. World bank and Asian bank also extended help to Pakistan. World has got confidence due to our moves.

He stated government had taken historical decisions. The salaries of the officers have been curtailed. Tax ratio against income is the lowest one in the world. Government has got nothing during the seven months.

We allocated Rs 192 billion to provide relief to marginalized sections of society. There is no tax of any sort. Relief was provided in electricity and gas due to which exports witnessed increase during the first seven months.

During the first six months, primary balance has gone surplus which constitutes 0.6 percent of GDP, he said. Tax revenue has swelled by 170 percent.

No more currency notes will be printed now. Prices of petrol, kerosene oil and diesel have not been scaled up during the seven months, he added.

A biggest package has been introduced in utility stores. We are providing five goods to people at lower rate than market since the last month.

He told NA that 4000 utility stores are functioning in the country and 2000 more utility stores will be opened.

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