KARACHI - The govt hopes to launch an equity market stabilisation fund worth Rs 20 billion, finance minister Naveed Qamar said, in the wake of 30 per cent fall on the KSE benchmark index since April. Speaking at the Karachi Stock Exchange on Tuesday, he said the National Investment Trust (NIT) will manage the fund. "We intend to move through NIT and give a substantial amount of boost to the stock market through the NIT, I think we can start with Rs 20 billion and hopefully start in this week," Qamar said. The fund was proposed earlier this month by the Karachi Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Qamar said Pakistan was in talks with Saudi Arabia to defer payments for crude oil sales during the current fiscal year. "There will be an announcement soon from Saudi Arabia, which will have a very positive affect on our current account position," he said. The minister said that budget deficit had reached to 9.5 percent of GDP in the last one year due to wrong policies of previous government. Naveed Qamar pointed out that the government has reduced borrowing from State Bank to zero percent and is using other sources to generate funds. "We will launch privatisation programme to generate funds and thrive stock market. There is a long list of items and this will be decided by the Cabinet. It is in our interest to actively pursue privatisation programme with your cooperation", he noted. United States of America, he said, will give non-military aid of US$7.5 billion to Pakistan and the announcement in this regard will be made during forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister to US. The minister maintained that the government will fully support stock market. We have extended capital gain tax exemption. We are launching stock market support fund this week with a minimum amount of Rs 20 billion", he opined. He said that the government wanted to raise funds and you are the source for this purpose. This partnership will continue, he observed. Responding to a question about the rationalization of tax on oil and gas, the minister said it was being done. We are going to rationalize this tax and make it zero, he noted. However, he said that a substantial amount of subsidy was still being paid on petroleum products. He said that government was facing a challenging situation which has been created due to unprecedented rise in oil prices. This has made the job tough for every finance minister in the world. However, every challenge is an opportunity, he added. He made it clear that the government will see that monetary policy should not be further tightened despite inflationary pressure. We will maintain a balance between monetary and fiscal policies in coordination with SBP and boost exports", he noted.