The government will announce austerity measures in the second week of July to contain expenditures and reduce fiscal deficit, according to the Ministry of Finance on Monday.
During the current financial year, the government paid debt of Rs654 billion to commercial banks and State Bank of Pakistan, while Rs74 billion was spent on debt servicing.
“The government is also planning to revamp workings of the ministry’s debt office to improve its efficiency after making certain amendments,” spokesperson and additional secretary budget of the Ministry of Finance Rana Asad Amin said in a media briefing.
He added that Economic Advisory Council of the Ministry of Finance established a three-member sub-committee under the chairmanship of former governor State Bank of Pakistan Saleem Raza to beef up the improvement plan and efficiency of the debt office.
He said that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani directed Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to resolve the issue of Etisalat’s outstanding dues and expressed hope that it would be settled amicably. Etisalat has to pay an outstanding amount of $800 million to the government for purchasing a stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited.
He said that International Monetary Fund appreciated the power sector reforms that the government initiated in consultation with stakeholders including the Ministry of Water and Power. “We have succeeded in talks with the IMF,” he remarked.
He said that Federal Board of Revenue would be able to generate around Rs1,590 to Rs1,592 billion by the end of the current financial year against the target of Rs1,588 billion.
Amin said that Pakistan received $193 million under Citizen Damage Compensation Programme (CDCP) with $10 million coming from China and $38 million from the World Bank while $200 million is in the pipeline from the Asian Development Bank.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2011.
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