Dar pins hope on highest growth rate in FY 2015-16
Islamabad—Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Tuesday, expressed the hope that the GDP growth rate during the current year (2015-16) would be the highest in eight years. Speaking at a function to commemorate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2016, here the Finance Minister said that all the economic indicators have been performing well. He said that inflation has decreased with remittances high while the foreign exchange reserves have also witnessed a considerable growth during the past three years.
“Pakistan is set to take off and it’s now just matter of time,” he said adding that credible world institutions have termed Pakistan second choicest place for investment and predicted the country to be 18th biggest economies of the world by 2050. However, a lot more still needs to be done, he said adding that with efforts the dream of becoming 18th biggest economy could be materiazed by even 2030.
He said that Business Confidence Index for Pakistan has changed from minus-34 to + 36 while by taking steps to ensure intellectual property rights the confidence of investors in Pakistan has also gone up. Ishaq Dar said that the country has potential to grow at 7 percent adding that by overcoming security challenges and energy problems would help in achieving this goal by 2018.
The Minister was of the view that Pakistan was at a juncture and needs stability and urged for not politicizing economy. He said that the auction of another spectrum licenses would be held on June 20, and urged the investors to take benefit from this opportunity for their better interests. The minister said that development of information and communication technology was a clear goal of the government to bridge social gap through digital and financial inclusions.
He said that after the lapse of 15 long years, the dream of merging all the stock exchanges of the country has been materialized to form Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). He said that keeping in view the vulnerable segments of society, the government has enhanced the cash amount to the poorest of the poor from Rs 12,000 to 18,600 per head. Later, talking to media persons, the minister said that the issue of writing letter to supreme court for making Commission to probe Panama leaks would be decided by the parliamentary committee. He said that the government was open for talks on both the Terms of References (ToR) prepared by opposition as well as the government.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Anusha Rehman said that IT sector has potential to contribute 1.5 percent in the GDP. She said that her ministry has taken initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and employment in the IT sector. She said that broadband penetration would touch 38 percent by 2018 which currently stands at 18%, higher than India and Bangladesh. She said that Rs 14 billion projects were in place to promote IT sector while the government through Telecom Policy 2015 and Cyber Crime Bill has addressed most of the issues confronted by the sector. The Minister said that despite challenges, the grey traffic was curbed. Earlier, Representatives of Microsoft, Mobilink and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mall also spoke on the occasion and lauded government investment friendly policies.