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Work completed to increase tax collection: Finance Minister Asad Umar

HEADLINE PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Asad Umar says economic direction has been set during the first one hundred days of the incumbent government.

Addressing the ceremony of achievements in 100 days of PTI government in Islamabad on Thursday he said there was a deficit of 2300 billion rupees in budget when we assumed power. The average deficit was 2 billion dollars per month in three months prior to PTI coming to power and dedicated efforts were made to reduce it to a slightly over 1 billion dollar per month. He said different steps helped improve the situation of balance of payments.

The Finance Minister said any agreement with IMF will be made keeping in view the interest of the people of Pakistan and unlike the previous governments, we will not hide behind IMF.

He said we also explored other options to meet the financial needs of Pakistan. Prime Minister visited Saudi Arabia, UAE, China and Malaysia as part of the continuation of these efforts.

Asad Umar said the decisions to increase taxes, import duties, and utility rates were targeted only on those segments of society who could afford it. No increase was made for poorer segments.

He said we want to make such a Pakistan where youth gets education and later employment on the basis of merit.

He said work has been completed to bring institutional reforms, and increase tax collection. comprehensive policies have been devised for IT sector and housing.

Only 3.7 million farmers get agricultural loans and this number will be increased to six million.

173,000 small businesses are given small loans and this number will be increased to 0.7 million in the next four years.

Asad Umar said hundreds of billions of rupees are consumed by State Owned Enterprises every year. Now, “Sarmaya Pakistan Company” has been established that will look into the affairs of public sector entities.

He said best professionals from Pakistan and abroad will be engaged the turn around the working efficiency of these organizations.

The Finance Minister said Prime Minister will launch new projects in the coming years in the areas of nutrition, health card, and shelter for poor and employment for youth.

He said efforts are afoot to provide 10 million jobs to youth.  He said the largest number of jobs will emerge in the housing sector and billion tree tsunami projects. Besides, the promotion of small businesses and tourism will also increase employment opportunities.