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Govt succeeded to reduce circular debt to less than Rs10b: Hafeez Sheikh
APP25-15 ISLAMABAD: September 15 - Adviser to PM on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shiekh and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Syed Shabbar Zaidi addressing a press conference. APP photo by Irshad Sheikh

Govt succeeded to reduce circular debt to less than Rs10b: Hafeez Sheikh

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Advisor on Finance Hafeez Sheikh says current government has succeeded in reducing the circular debt to less than Rs10 billion.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Sunday, he said when the government came into power the country was heading towards bankruptcy, but under the objective of economic stability, a number of steps were taken to control our dollar reserves.

He said government expenses were reduced through austerity measures and current account deficit was also reduced over 70 percent.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said six hundred thousand additional tax payers were registered. He said a new system has been introduced since 23rd of the last month under which speedy refunds are given to the business community. Now, refunds will be automatically ensured on 16th of every month.

The Advisor said the process of privatization has been expedited and state owned enterprises will be restructured in a fast track manner to improve their performance.

He said the government is considering privatization of National Bank of Pakistan and State Life Insurance for better results.

The Advisor said value of rupee has improved resulting in a benefit of 246 billion rupees in loans. He said 250 billion rupees have been allocated for the development of agriculture sector.

Dr Abdul Hafiz Shaikh said the government fixed the economic growth target of 2.4, which will be achieved easily due to prudent economic policies of the government.

To a question, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said ease of doing business is top priority of the government.

He said government is providing loans and subsidy to the business community on gas, electricity, due to which exports are on the rise. Businessmen are important for the government, who are vital in provision of jobs.

Responding to another question, the Advisor said merit, transparency, and protection of workers’ rights will be the top priority in the privatization process.

He also made it clear that there was no tax on food items.