ISLAMABAD - Finance minister Ishaq Dar has said that the government is determined to achieve 7 percent growth rate in the next two years.

Speaking at a ceremony held to commemorate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2016, Dar said all the economic indicators have been performing well and the government has delivered on its promises and put the economy on the right track. He claimed the GDP growth rate during the current fiscal year would be the highest in eight years.

He said the IT related exports have witnessed forty one percent growth during the last three years and there is potential for further growth. He said that inflation has decreased while foreign exchange reserves have also witnessed a considerable growth during the past three years. However, a lot more still needs to be done, he admitted. “With efforts, the dream of becoming 18th biggest economy could be materialized by even 2030, Dar said.

Minister said that Business Confidence Index for Pakistan has changed from minus 34 to positive 36 while by taking steps to ensure intellectual property rights the confidence of investors in Pakistan has also gone up. Ishaq Dar said that the country’s economy has potential to grow at 7 percent, adding that overcoming security challenges and energy problems would help the country in achieving this goal by 2018.

He said Pakistan was going through a crucial time and needs stability, including political.

He said that the auction of another spectrum licenses would be held on June 20, and urged the investors to take benefit from this opportunity.

Later, talking to media, the minister said that the issue of writing letter to Supreme Court for making Commission to probe Panama leaks would be decided by the parliamentary committee. He said the government was open for talks on both the terms of references (ToR) prepared by opposition as well as the government.

BROADBAND PENETRATION

Earlier, State Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Anusha Rehman, while addressing the participants, said that IT sector has potential to contribute 1.5 percent to the GDP. She said that her ministry has taken initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and employment in the IT sector.

She said that broadband penetration would touch 38 percent by 2018 which currently stands at 18%, higher than India and Bangladesh. She said that Rs 14 billion projects were in place to promote IT sector while the government through Telecom Policy 2015 and Cyber Crime Bill has addressed most of the issues confronted by the sector.