ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar says prudent economic policies initiated by the government will bring prosperity and this strategy will increase per capital income in the country.

Winding up debate on budget 2017-18 in national assembly on Tuesday afternoon, he said that government has set six percent growth rate for next year and we believe that Pakistan will achieve seven percent GDP growth rate in 2018-19.

The minister said that 75 recommendations of the senate have been accepted totally, principally or partially out of total 276 recommendations while 147 suggestions have been forward to the planning division with favorable remarks.

He said that the government has the desire to complete National Finance Commission Awards at the earliest with the consultation of all provinces.

Ishaq Dar said that net debt to GDP has decreased from 60.23 percent to 59.3 percent. He said that foreign debt of the country was 48.1 billion dollars in 2013 and now it is 41.9 billion dollars.

Highlighting successes of security operations against terrorists in the country, the minister said the government is providing all necessary resources for these operations and requirements of armed forces.

He said that the rehabilitation of TDPs and reconstruction in Tribal areas is also underway and for this purpose 90 billion rupees have been allocated in the next budget.

The minister said that the prime minister had announced a incentive package of 180 billion rupees for the promotion of exports in January this year and the government has decided to reduce sales tax and other duties for this purpose.

He said that  the government is giving a power subsidy of 22 billion rupees for the industrial. About agriculture he said that cost of agriculture loans has also been reduced from 14 percent to 9.9 percent while the recommendation of parliamentarians ceiling of the loan have also been enhanced up to 75,000 rupees for small farmers. He clarified that small agriculture loan will be for six months and it will be 150,000 for the year.

The minister said that government has abolished sales tax on the diesel running engines and duty on import of diesel engine parts has also been reduced from 20 to 3 percent which will benefit small farmers.

Ishaq Dar said that several incentives like exemption of sales tax and tax-concession have been given to encourage islamic banking in the country. He stated that the double sales tax on Islamic banking products is being abolished. He further added that minimum labor wages have been enhanced to 15400 increasing 10 percent of previous wage.

He confirmed that the concession announced in the budget for the services sector is being enhanced to IT enabled services. He assured that the customs duty on the import of magnet for DC fans has been withdrawn.

Ishaq Dar stated that a special package is being prepared for the entertainment industry and revival of drama and film industry of Pakistan.

He said that the tax ratio on dividend on mutual funds is being reduced to 10 percent from 12.5 percent on up to 2.5 million rupees while capital gains tax on investment in stock exchange will not be increased on investment prior to July 2016.

In his concluding remarks, the finance minister assured that five years economic vision of the government carries special features of self-sufficiency, poverty alleviation, food security and sustainable economic development.

He also added that if we agree on an economic charter it will send a positive message to world and political change which will not have an impact on economic policies of the future.

Taking floor of the national assembly, leader of opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should personally come to the Parliament and brief the House about his talks with Saudi leadership over the evolving situation in the Gulf region.

He emphasised that Prime Minister should take Parliament into confidence over Pakistan's future foreign policy regarding Gulf countries and 35-member Islamic Military Alliance.       

Later, members belonging to opposition parties staged a walkout from the house to press their demand for live broadcast of the speech of leader of the opposition on PTV.

The national assembly has approved 150 demands for grants relating to different ministries, divisions and departments for the next fiscal year.

The opposition did not move any cut motion of these demands for grants as they boycotted the House for not airing Opposition's speeches live on PTV.