ISLAMABAD
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar hinted that government might miss the targets of GDP growth and fiscal deficit during ongoing fiscal year due to the flash floods and extra ordinary expenditures on implementing national action plan on terrorism as well as the rehabilitation of temporary displaced persons.
The GDP growth target would be nearer to 5.1 percent during current financial year 2014-15 despite flash floods, military operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorism and declining oil prices, said Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar while addressing a press conference here.
He hinted that fiscal deficit , a gap between government's revenues and expenditures, might increase than the budgeted target of 4.9 percent for FY2015 due to the extra ordinary expenditures on the implementation of national action plan on terrorism as well as the rehabilitation of temporary displaced persons. The Finance Ministry would provide resources for capacity building of the armed forces and for the honourable return of the displaced families to their homes, he added.
Ishaq Dar made it clear that government could not slash the defence budget, debt servicing and salaries of the civil servants. Therefore, the government has left with two options either to cut the development budget or social safety net to restrict the budget deficit, he informed.
Finance Minister informed that government has not decided yet to revise the budget deficit target, as it is working available fiscal framework.
To a question regarding expenditures of implementing national action plan on terrorism as well as the rehabilitation of TDPs, Ishaq Dar said government would require more than Rs 100 billion for these expenditures that would be arranged from available fiscal space and pledges and commitments of the donors and friendly countries.
The International Monetary Fund has completed five reviews on Pakistan's economy and we are ready for the sixth review expected to be held in the last week of this month. "The sixth review ill be held in last week of January in Dubai or Istanbul", said the Finance Minister. The government had completed the targets required for the six review including targets on net domestic assets of the SBP, government borrowing from the central bank, as well as net national reserves.
"I have asked the IMF to hold talks in Pakistan. However, they might not visit Pakistan after Peshawar incident. Therefore, the talks could now he held in Dubai or Istanbul", he said and added that IMF mission chief would visit Pakistan after concluding the talks to hold joint press conference with me, Ishaq Dar apprised. The chief of International Finance Commission (IFC) would also visit Pakistan on January 18 and 19. He informed that Pakistan is now eligible for taking loans from International Bank of Reconstruction and Development after enhancing its reserves to $15 billion.
Finance Minister said GST on oil products has been increased from 17 percent to 22 percent to achieve revenue shortfall because of reduction in oil prices in global market.  He said there is a revenue loss of Rs68 billion and the Government will recover Rs17.5 billion till 30th June due to increase in GST on petroleum products. The oil prices had been decreased by Rs 26 to Rs 35 per liter in last few months.
Ishaq Dar said in the first six months of current financial year, the Federal Board of Revenue has collected revenue of Rs 1162.4 billion as against Rs1031.4 billion during the same period last year showing increase of 13 percent.
The Finance Minister said the budget deficit remained 2.4 percent in the first six months of current fiscal year against the target of 4.9 percent.
He said home remittances have increased by 15.25 percent. He said imports of the country have increased from $21.671 to 24.203 billion in the first six months of the current financial year. These showed an increase of 11.68 percent.
He said last year inflation was 8.9 percent in July-December, which is decreased to 6.1 percent in the same period this year.  He said 1723 new companies have been registered during the initial five months of this financial year whereas 1534 companies were registered during the same period last year. He said this shows an increase of 12.3 percent.
On the performance of Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) growth, the minister expressed his dissatisfaction, as it remained only 2 percent during the period July-October 2014-15 while it was 6.2 percent during same period of last year.