Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday announced a Rs180-billion incentive package for exporters in an effort to give a cushion to the dwindling exports of the country.
He made the announcement at a ceremony where leading exporters of the country and government officials were present.
Textile industrialists of the country had demanded the incentive package as they were losing competitive edge in the international market because of high cost of goods production.
Pakistan’s trade deficit widened 22.2% or $14.5 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year due to the fall in exports and double-digit growth in imports. Exports dropped 3.82% to $9.9 billion in July-December FY17.
Highlighting his government’s achievements, the prime minister said industries of the country were facing no load-shedding and they were receiving electricity and gas without any interruption.
“Had the previous governments focused on the energy shortage, the country would not have faced darkness,” he remarked. “Previous governments did not do anything, that’s why the country was facing a crisis.”
He called the electricity deficit the country’s biggest problem and acknowledged that its tariff should go down. “We are moving forward on that front,” he said.
He boasted that now electricity tariff stood 26% cheaper compared to the tariff during the tenure of the previous government.
At the beginning of next year, he said, 10,000 megawatts of new electricity would be added to the system. And in the next few years, power production will go up by 30,000MW.
In that regard, the premier cited the work continuing on dozens of energy projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme.
Turning to highways and motorways, he said, a six-lane motorway was being built between Islamabad and Karachi whereas Karachi-Hyderabad motorway would be completed this year.
He said Rs8 billion was being spent on the upgrading of railways, after which the speed of trains would double.