islamabad -

Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso Friday directed the Ministry of Finance to allocate substantial funds for agriculture, energy, health and education sectors in the next budget and come up with recommendations to broaden the tax base.

The Prime Minister issued these directives during a presentation given by the Ministry of Finance on the state of economy and the preparation of budget for the next financial year at the PM’s House here. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan was blessed with huge resources and it was up to us to exploit its potential for the progress and welfare of people of the country.

He also directed the Ministry of Finance to further streamline the procedure for remittances so that overseas Pakistanis can send money back home conveniently. This, he said, would also lead to increase in the amount of remittances which is presently estimated to reach 14 billion dollars.

The Prime Minister was told that due to good performance shown by agriculture sector in the past few years, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has remained in the single digit. He directed more emphasis on agriculture sector because it has the potential of addressing the issue of unemployment as well as increasing rate of economic growth of the country.

The meeting was attended by D. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance, and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Planning Division and Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso has directed the Ministry of Finance to work with Ministry of Production and management of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) to work out a financial package for Steel Mills to make the strategic financial asset a feasible entity.

These directions were given by the Prime Minister in a meeting held to review a bailout package for Pakistan Steel Mills at the Prime Minister House. The prime minister constituted a committee comprising of representatives of finance, production and management of Pakistan Steel Mills to work out a business plan and present it to him for consideration in the shortest possible time.

Besides senior officials of Ministry of Finance, CEO PSM and other government officials, the meeting was also attended by Minister for Production, Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Shaikh and advisor on Finance Dr Shahid Amjad Chaudhry.