KARACHI - Federal Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Saturday said the GDP growth in Pakistan will remain around 4 per cent in this fiscal year.

The Minister said that despite the global economic slowdown, this growth of four percent will be a sign of strength of Pakistan’s economy which is progressing towards self reliance. This growth, he added, will be after a gap of three years. He said this while talking to media persons at the Karachi Airport on the occasion of inauguration of the Karachi-Lahore flight of the Bhoja Airline.

He pointed out the tax revenues are growing at impressive pace. Hafeez Sheikh pointed out that the core economy is doing well as exports are increasing and remittances are also showing on upward trend, averaging at one billion dollars a month.

He said this year the government has allocated Rs. 300 billion for development and of this 74 percent funds have already been released.

The Minister said the provinces have been given additional 800 to 900 billion rupees under the NFC award this year with focus on neglected areas like Balochistan, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK.

He also hoped that the airline companies will do good business because of higher tariff and rising economy. Hafeez Shaikh said the entry of Bhoja Air will enhance competition and provide better service to airline travellers. He added that this is a good omen and wished the airline well. Arshad Jalil, Managing Director of Bhoja Air, said on the occasion that the airline is starting with five Boeing 737-400 aircraft with daily flight from Karachi to Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur from Saturday.

The first Karachi-Dubai flight will be from April 15, he apprised.