PM ready to sign ‘charter of economy’: Finance Minister

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Dr Miftah Ismail, Finance Minister, and Shaukat Tarin, former Finance Minister are agreed on forming a ‘Charter of Economy’ among the political parties while putting aside political differences for sustainable economic growth.

Speaking as chief guest at the webinar on “National Dialogue on Economy: The Way Forward for Pakistan”, organized by Nutshell Conferences and Corporate Pakistan Group, on Saturday, Miftah Ismail said Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is ready to sign the Charter of Economy on a minimum agenda despite different ideologies of various political parties.

He said the growth in the economy is achievable in Pakistan with its huge size of the population but the sustainable economic growth has been a challenge over the period last years, which needs to be addressed mutually by everyone in the government and the private sector.

Consistency is the key to economic policy and the present government should honour the commitment made by the previous government as part of the sovereign guarantees of the country and international laws, he added.

Pakistan needs nearly $37 billion for the next year for the purpose of paying loans to various agencies and countries, controlling the current account deficit, and building the required foreign exchange reserves but these could be done only with the signing of a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He said that the government will focus on discouraging importled growth in the economy, whereas the manufacturing sector should be given preference to enhance exports.

Tarin underscores need for ‘interim’ setup to deal with myriad economic challenges, He said the government will work on revolutionizing the agriculture sector, which will particularly meet the local demand for food items.

He said the government will not impose any ban on traveling, raw materials, and essential items but only on luxury and nonessential items. Also, the tax rate will not be increased on the income of the people, he added.

Former Finance Minister Senator Shaukat Tarin said the Char ter of Economy is very important for the country which he proposed many years back. Political differences should be put aside and the economic agenda should be agreed upon. A few of the next months are difficult ahead but the situation will be improved after the general elections, he added.