ISLAMABAD: Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting said that PTI government inherited a very weak economy, therefore, stabilizing the economy was the key focus of the current government to put Pakistan on sustainable growth. He said that government was facing no challenge on political front, however, economy was its main challenge and the economic team of the government was working hard to enable Pakistan to stand on its own feet instead of depending on foreign borrowings. He said when PTI took over government, country was needed $12 billion to avoid default and with hectic efforts of the government Pakistan now has been saved from default. He said this while addressing the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Fawad Chaudhry said that the government strategy was to promote exports, discourage imports, broaden tax net, curb money laundering and promote remittances through banking channels. He said Pakistan has the potential to receive $40 billion annual remittances and government was taking steps to encourage remittances through legal channels. He said the previous government spent $7 billion to keep rupee overvalued that brought destruction to the economy. He said due to clean governance of PTI government, Pakistan’s international perception was improving. He said the British Airways was returning to Pakistan, France has improved its travel advisory for Pakistan while Germany was also considering on the same lines. He said Pakistan’s relations with EU and USA were improving. He said that filing of tax returns has improved from around 1.1 million in 2017 to around 1.5 million in 2018. He said the government has signed $10 billion offshore gas pipeline deal with Russia while deal Saudi Arabia for oil refinery has also been finalized. He said that government would facilitate the growth of SMEs as they have key role in the economic development of the country.
Speaking at the occasion, Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said the government should focus on highlighting Pakistan’s business and economic potential through media to attract local and foreign investment. He urged that the government should take priority measures to create conducive environment for business activities that would help in early recovery of the economy. He said that government should organize specific programs on CPEC on TV and radio to create get more awareness about the business and investment opportunities in CPEC projects. He said government should form media policy on business and economy and focus on highlighting tourism potential of Pakistan through media as the promotion of tourism would reduce poverty and bring prosperity to the people. He stressed that media hold programs on innovation and entrepreneurship to foster the culture of innovation and entrepreneurial activities in the country.
Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President said that government should cooperate with ICCI for establishing a new industrial estate in Islamabad. Mian Akram Farid, Nasir Qureshi, Khalid Chaudhry, Khalid Mian, Mian Ramzan and others also highlighted various issues that needed the urgent attention of the government