ISLAMABAD: Finance Adviser Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh Tuesday told that loans of Rs 5,000 billion – taken by the erstwhile governments – have been given back by the incumbent government which gave incentives to increase exports and reduced expenditures for the first time in the country’s history.
The finance adviser addressed a press conference along with other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders on completion of the federal government’s two years to apprise the nation of its achievements.
Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said, “Funds for the president and the prime minister were reduced. No supplementary grant was given to any institution of ministry. Deficit of $ 20 billion has been reduced to $ 3 billion.
“Tax revenue was affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Package of Rs 240 billion was given during COVID-19. No loan was taken from the State Bank of Pakistan this year. Efforts to improve the taxes system were made. The government helped 16 million Pakistanis without any discrimination and Rs 250 billion were given to people for the first time in history. Those who were unemployed due to coronavirus were given cash aid.
“Rs 280 billion package was given to agriculture sector. Easy loans were given to business class and three-month electricity bills of small businesses were paid by the government. No new tax was imposed in the budget. The sale of cement was increased by 33 percent.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz and Special Assistan to the PM on Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar were present on the occasion with Hafeez Shaikh.