ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Textile Makhdom Shahabuddin on Friday told the National Assembly that the recent flood in Sindh has financially harmed the farmers and the government will write off the loans of flood affectees. Responding to a question during Question-Hour, on behalf of the Minister for Revenue and Planning and Development Dr Abdul Hafiz Sheikh, the minister said that the economy of the country was improving, however, the flood once again pushed it down and due to lack of resources the government had to go for loans. To a supplementary question, the federal minister said that the government had taken various austerity measures to reduce the government expenditures. He added that the expenses of Prime Minister and President House were also reduced. To another supplementary question, the minister said that the people were not committing suicide due to their financial reasons but were committing on other personnel reasons. He added that the government was paying attention to the public sector development. PIA and Pakistan Railways would soon be improved, the minister said. Meanwhile in a written reply, Minister for Revenue and Planning and Development Dr Abdul Hafiz Sheikh has informed the House that the total amount of domestic and foreign loans since 2008 to August 2011 was Rs 4384.49 billion out of which the domestic loan was Rs 3083.43 billion, foreign Rs 1301.06 and which stands at 14.9 billion US dollars. To a question regarding steps being taken for the repayment of said loans he stated that the repayments of the loans were agreed at the time of negotiations and signing of loan agreement with borrowers and being paid as per agreed schedule. He added that appropriate budget provisions were made accordingly. To another question steps taken to improve the economic situation of the country, the finance minister stated that GDP growth for 2011-2012 was projected to grow at 4.2 per cent on the back of 3.4 per cent growth in agriculture, 3.7 per cent in manufacturing, 5 per cent in services and 2 per cent in LSM. He stated that PSDP 2011-12 had been increased to Rs.730 billion, 58 per cent higher than the revised budget of Rs 462 billion of last year. Besides other steps, he stated the government had maintained the fiscal discipline through broad, equitable and stable revenue mobilisation system by broadening tax net. FBR tax collection target for 2011-2012 was set at Rs 1952 billion which is 25.3 per cent higher than previous years total collection of Rs 1558 billion.