Finance Minister Briefs the Prime Minister on Economy

Islamabad: Finance Minister Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, who met Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani here today, briefed him on the state of national economy, which is showing positive indicators during the first month of Financial Year, 2011-12. The Finance Minister said that the revenue collection during the month of July was Rs. 105 billion, which is an increase of 36% during the corresponding period of last July.

The exports, he said, were 2.3 billion dollars, an increase of 27% than the month of July last year. The Finance Minister further said that the remittances in July during the FY-2011-12 stood at 1.1 billion dollars representing an increase of 35% than the last month of July of the FY-2010-11.

Finance Minister Abdul Hafiz Sheikh informed the Prime Minister that the government did not resort to borrowings from the State Bank of Pakistan during the first month of FY-2011-12.

The Finance Minister apprised the Prime Minister about the deliberations of the High-Powered Committee constituted by the Prime Minister under his chairmanship to seek out-of-box solution to un-scheduled load-shedding in the country. Dr Hafiz Sheikh informed that the Committee would submit its recommendations to the Cabinet soon after the month of Ramadan. Other members of the Committee are Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain, Governor State Bank and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission.

The Finance Minister elaborated upon the key areas, which would be put into use to get the people of the country out of the agonizing pain of load-shedding. These are corporate governance, energy mix, recovery of dues, regulatory issues relating to energy sector, appropriate budgeting for resolution of circular debt and institutional arrangements to ensure non-recurrence of these problems.

The Finance Minister expressed his resolve to move on emergent basis in pursuance of the Prime Minister’s directive so that people of the country could be relieved of the burden of unscheduled load-shedding.

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