ISLAMABAD - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday said Pakistan would receive $950 million, already approved by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan, for the energy sector within the ongoing month of November.
“We have completed the documentation with the World Bank for $500 million, which was approved on November 12,” said Finance Minister while talking to The Nation. He further said that government would start documentation process with Asian Development Bank for $400 million approved on Friday in next few days.
“Japan will also release $50 million to Pakistan for energy sector reforms,” said Ishaq Dar. He added that ADB had also approved $990 million multitranche Second Power Distribution Enhancement Investment Programme of Pakistan. “This amount will be disbursed in next few months”, the finance minister said on a question. The $990 million approved by ADB will be used for introducing an Advanced Electricity Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system for power distribution companies across the country. It said that the new system will help reduce line losses, improve revenue collection and load management, and strengthen the financial viability of the sector.
Dar said the government has planned to eliminate the power loadshedding by 2018 by adding additional electricity in the national grid.
Dar said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves would go beyond $20 billion by the end of November after receiving $950 million from WB, ADB and Japan. The country’s current foreign exchange reserves are standing at $19.7 billion wherein State Bank of Pakistan’s held reserves are $14.6 billion and commercial banks reserves are $5.1 billion.
Meanwhile, sources in Finance Ministry informed that Pakistan is expecting to receive $502 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by mid December that would push up the country’s foreign exchange reserves. “The government is currently engaged in devising strategy for additional revenue worth Rs40 billion, which is pre-condition of the IMF for releasing next tranche in December,” said an official of the Finance Ministry on the condition of anonymity.
The IMF had recently shown serious concerns over the tax collection efforts of the government, which missed the first quarter (July-September) target by Rs40 billion. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had collected Rs600 billion during July-September of 2015-2016 as against the target of Rs640 billion.
APP adds from Lahore: Federal Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar Saturday said that the government is committed to strengthen the private sector for boosting industrial growth, accelerating economic activities besides strengthening national economy.
Talking to APP here today, he said that a high profile delegation of national trade leaders comprising Chief Executive TDAP S M Muneer, Chairman United Business Group Iftikhar Ali Malik, President FPCCI Muhammad Adrees, presidential candidate for FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam, Zubair Tufail, Malik Sohail Hussain and others met him at Islamabad a couple of days ago to discuss the genuine problems being confronted by the business community in the country.
He said that he had assured them that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and all his cabinet members always attached great importance to the welfare of the business community and addressing their issues on top priority.
Ishaq Dar said that they also held fruitful and result oriented meeting with Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Nisar Muhammad Khan and his members who categorically assured for prompt redressal of their legitimate problems on priority.
The minister said the Prime Minister had already directed to all federal ministries and attached departments for resolving the all genuine impediments facing the business community. Ishaq Dar said that all issues of business community will be settled on table through the one window transparent policy.
He said that government had already offered an excellent package of incentives to attract series of direct and indirect foreign investment in Pakistan and facilitating the Pak exporters for boosting Pak international standard products abroad.
He praised the contribution of TDAP Chief Executive for holding record number of over 100 expos in foreign countries and 18 in Pakistan in a short span of one year.
He said that it’s good omen that Chairman United Business Group Iftikhar Ali Malik always advocated the cause of broadening the tax base in Pakistan and urged the business community to come into tax net for proper documentation of national economy.
He said that he had advised Iftikhar Ali Malik to continue to persuade business community to bring them into tax net and for paying their due tax timely.
The minister said that it is first time in history that more than 50 per cent representation has been given to private sector in high level advisory committee of planning commission headed by Prime Minister which speaks of prudent policies of the government.
He said that again womenfolk has also been given proper share in advancing loan on soft terms and condition for the establishment of SME and small scale cottage industry throughout the country. He said that “Action speaks louder than words”.
Ishaq Dar said that all proposals and suggestions of FPCCI will be given due weightage in policy making process and assured full co-operation to them.