PR No. 23 Finance Minister address in NDU Islamabad: December 2, 2016

The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, on the invitation of National Defense University, addressed the participants of National Security Workshop (18) at Institute for Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis (ISSRA), NDU today. The Minister was received by Lieutenant General Nazir Ahmed Butt and DG ISSRA Major General Ghulam Qamar and senior officials of the college.

The Finance Minister spoke on the Economic Policy of Pakistan and shared the perspective on Pakistan’s economy, the challenges faced by the government in 2013, steps taken for fostering growth and the roadmap for future economic growth in the country.

The Minister said that when the government came to office our priority was to re-fix the economy and bring macro-economic stability. Prior to 2013, the country was faced with serious challenges like macro-economic instability, frequent power outages and dire security situation. Agriculture, large scale manufacturing and services sectors were all underperforming. The foreign exchange reserve position had reached precarious levels; the interest rates and inflation were high. The external sector was heavily out of balance, and the performance of state owned enterprises had severely deteriorated.

The incumbent government has paid attention to all these issues and achieved considerable success in resolving them. We took necessary and difficult steps to avoid predicted default, and ensure fiscal discipline and consolidation. In this regard, we undertook structural reforms, including restructuring Pubic Sector Enterprises, and other measures including reduction in un-targeted subsidies and broadened the tax base. Measures were also taken to build foreign exchange reserves, contain inflation and overcome energy shortages. Now, our country ratings have been improved by Rating Agency as acknowledgement of our achievements.

The Minister noted that the slowdown in the global economy has posed a risk for Pakistan like other developing economies. He further said that the strengthening of the energy infrastructure and improving the security situation will be the key to achieving higher levels of growth in Pakistan.

The workshop members included Senators, MNAs, MPAs, senior military officers, bureaucrats, Ambassadors and representatives of the civil society.