Standoff in capital: Political gridlock delays major transactions, says Dar

Plans to boost country’s foreign exchange reserves also undermined

September 17, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said on Tuesday that the month-long anti-government protests had slowed down three vital economic transactions and undermined the government’s plans to boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

“We could have added $2.4 billion to our foreign exchange reserves but the latest political crisis has delayed three important transactions, including the issue of Sukuk, divestment of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) shares and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) next tranche release,” he said.

He was talking to the Asian Development Bank’s newly appointed president Takehiko Nakao, who had called on him on Tuesday. Dar, however, assured Nakao that the government would resolve the issue amicably as it had already constituted a committee on electoral reforms, said an official statement.

Briefing the ADB official on the economic condition of the country, the finance minister said the government was following a pro-development macro-economic agenda.

“Improvements can be seen in revenue collection (16.44%), decrease in budget deficit (5.7%), growth in foreign remittances (13.7%), growth in large-scale manufacturing (4.2%) and the increase in the disbursement of agricultural credit (15.91%),” he said.

Dar said the government had also increased spending on the social safety net and the allocation had increased from a mere Rs40 billion to Rs118 billion in the last 14 months. “We ensured that no cuts were made in the Public Sector Development Programme allocations,” he added.

The minister said Pakistan needed the ADB’s support on Diamer-Bhasha dam as resolving the energy crisis was the priority of the government.

“World Bank is going to hold a Business Opportunity Conference in Washington on October 8 and we are going to discuss the Diamer-Bhasha dam project in the conference because it has vital importance for generating energy as well as water conservation,” he told the ADB president.

The minister said the government wanted to proceed with TAPI and CASA-1000 projects for fulfilling the energy needs of the country in near future.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Major General Saeed Aleem also gave a brief presentation to the ADB President on the recent flood damages in Punjab, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan.

At this occasion, the ADB chief expressed his sympathies for the flood affectees and said the ADB would like to assist in their rehabilitation process.

“ADB helped the people in the Philippines affected by the Typhoon Yolanda and in 2005, we also helped the people affected by the earthquake,” he further, adding: “We are happy to know that the government of Pakistan has immediately started the relief work in the flood hit areas”.

Nakao said though his bank could lend only $1 billion to any country for the development projects, yet they would continue supporting Pakistan in projects such as renewable energy, Jamshoro and projects of regional connectivity.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2014.


freed | 8 years ago | Reply

corruption is on hold due no loans coming in. This is higgest problem for them be ause they need to loot and plunder for next election.

Youth of Pakistan | 8 years ago | Reply

Imran Khan one man has set a fire on the tail of status qou, they are running in circle trying to bite of their own past but it is impossible for them to hide the truth.

These United Status Qou Parties, who promise to drag each other on the road in election campaign, join hands and stand shoulder to should with each other after the election.

Their affection towards themselves is evident in the Joint Session of the Parliament, where each of the looter respects the other.

My Friends our eyes are now open, we can see, we can understand the game you play, the dance you tap.

Get Ready to Face us

We are the Nation, We are the People of Pakistan.

Its time we off load you from our nation like in the flight yesterday.

We dont stnadby Imran Khan beacuse he looks pretty

We standby his vision, we stand for our Generations to come

We stand for a Naya Pakistan Insha Allah

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