ISLAMABAD - Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that the incumbent government wanted to overcome fiscal and Current Account Deficit (CoD) for economic stabilisation of the country. Twins deficits including fiscal as well as current account deficit (CoD) were big challenge for the  government, which needed to be resolved for perusing the policies for economic stability and put the economy on growth trajectory, the advisor said while, addressing a “Post Budget Conference 2019, Pakistan Back on Track” organized by the Institute of Charted Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).

“We got Rs 2.3 trillion fiscal deficits and zero growth on exports from previous government, while Rs 31000 billion loans borrowed from different side’’ he said. He said the government has inherited $20 billion Current Account Deficit while Rs 2000 billion would be required for debt servicing on foreign loans. He said that in this critical situation, “we want to go for economic stability and further more towards quality and inclusive growth for sustainable development”.

Hafeez said that for perusing the goal of economic stability, the government had taken few measure including arrangements of $ 9.2 billion from friend countries and $ 3.2 billion oil on differed payments from Saudi Arabia, including $ 1.1 billion from Islamic Development Bank. All these efforts resulted in bringing down CoD $ 7 billion in past few months. He said that “we had no other option but go to International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) for maintain the budget deficit.

Govt inherited $20b deficit while Rs2,000b will be required for debt servicing

He informed that Asian development Bank (ADB) had also agreed to give  $ 3 billion, which was big success of the government. Hafeez said that for economic stabilization “we need fiscal discipline and revenue mobilization to take tough decision for perusing our economic agenda.”

Now the revenue collection and austerity measure was priority of the government, he said, adding “we need Rs 29000 billion for paying interest on loans”. Hafeez said that increasing growth was top priority of the government, adding that “we gave  subsidy to energy sector.  He said it was duty of all to pay taxes to contribute in the national economy. He said that through austerity measures, the government had saved Rs 500 billion from civilian side and armed forces’ budget was also frozen at previous years level.

Addressing the gathering, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Shabbar Ziadi said the government had set ambitious revenue target for achieving goal of economic stabilization. He said that the country’s economy had potential to achieve the current revenue target set by the government. He said the government would not extend the date for amnesty scheme and June 30th 2019 would  be the last date for declaring the undeclared assets.