Islamabad (Web Desk): The federal government on Thursday launched the pre-budget document, Economic Survey of Pakistan 2021-22.
Addressing the ceremony, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail vowed to lead the country towards responsible, sustainable and inclusive growth. He said the imminent default has been averted due to the difficult decisions taken by the present government. He said the country has now been put on the path of stability.
The minister said that the growth rate remained 5.97 percent during the current fiscal year but this growth created the problems of Current Account Deficit and Balance of Payment crisis. He said the imports increased by forty three percent during the current fiscal year which will touch 76 to 77 billion dollars.
Miftah Ismail said that the imports also increased by twenty eight percent. Resultantly, he said the trade deficit has reached forty five billion dollars. The FM said that our foreign exchange reserves reduced by 5.6 billion dollars in the month of March and these currently stand at around 9.7 billion dollars. He however expressed the confidence that the foreign exchange reserves will touch 12 billion dollars in the next few days with the provision of 2.4 billion dollars by China.
Miftah Ismail stressed the need for putting the country in the right direction. He said we have to increase the prices of petroleum products the Brent price is hovering around 120 to 123 dollars per barrel.
The minister pointed out that the country would not have been faced with the current price hike had the previous government signed long term agreements for gas import during the period of Covid-19. He said the PTI left behind landmines not for the present government but the State of Pakistan.
As regards the Foreign Direct Investment, the Finance Minister said these were two billion dollars in 2017-18 and today this has come down to 1.25 billion dollars in the first nine month of current fiscal year. He said Pakistan lags behind in every statistics because of the decision of the incompetent government of PTI.
Miftah Ismail said Pakistan will have to import three million tons of wheat this year to meet domestic requirements.