Saturday, February 20, 2010

difficult financial environment Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Sohail Ahmad has said that the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) forum has not provided aid to Pakistan in accordance with its pledges. However, the IMF has realised our economic difficulties. Talking to The News, he said realising the difficult financial environment Pakistan was confronted with, the IMF had okayed the financial deficit of up to 5.2 per cent of the GDP, instead of 4.9 per cent. There was zero revenue growth in the first three months of the current financial year, but 20 per cent growth in the tax recovery has been recorded between October 2009 and February 2010 against the corresponding period of the preceding year, he said. He said there had been 10 per cent average increase in the tax recoveries between July 2009 and January 2010. "For the last four months, the revenue graph had been persistently going up. The inflation had been brought down to 10 or 11 per cent as against the record figure of 25 per cent a year back." He said wheat, rice and cotton crops were excellent but sugarcane was facing problems. The growth rate of the large-scale manufacturing had gone up to 6 per cent and the rate of the economic growth is expected to remain at approximately between 3 and 3.5 per cent. The rate of growth in the agricultural sector is estimated to be 4 per cent, he said. He said the IMF mission has expressed the confidence that the FBR shall achieve tax collection target of Rs 1,380 billion for the year 2009-2010 because of the growth of the national economy and concerted efforts of the FBR. "The IMF has applauded that the government had confronted challenges successfully thrown at it because of difficult circumstances and inability of the FoDP to honour commitments. They appreciated that the budget had been kept under discipline despite the fact there is a democratic set-up in the country. "The government has kept the financial deficit and prices of PoL well under control in line with the international market. The raise given to the power tariff shall also help strengthen the economy," Sohail concluded.



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