Islamabad, 2 July 2012. Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh called on Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at Prime Minister House on Sunday and briefed him on the country’s economic situation.
The Finance Minister said that the fiscal year 2011-12 ended with a growth of 3.7 per cent, showing an improvement over last three years.
Similarly, the minister said better performance was visible in the decline in inflation rate from 13 per cent last year to 11 per cent in the year just concluded.
The benefit of decline in international fuel prices, the minister said, had been passed on to the consumers and during the last 45 days, the prices of fuel, diesel and kerosene had been brought down three times.
He said that the financial year had also ended with foreign exchange reserves of over 15 billion dollars, in spite of paying back to the IMF 1.2 billion dollars during the year as per the schedule.
The minister said that exports remained strong in spite of global economic crisis and were likely to maintain upward momentum in the year 2012-13 as well.
The Finance Minister highly appreciated the role of expatriate Pakistanis and said the remittances were at a historic high level of over 13 billion dollars.
He said with satisfaction that the year 2011-12 had also ended with record level of tax revenues, which were expected to surpass the Rs 1910 billion – an increase of Rs 450 billion, showing a growth rate of 23 per cent, the highest level of growth in single year in Pakistan’s history.
The Finance Minister further said that the financial year 2011-12 also ended with successful completion of Federal PSDP where projects benefiting the economy worth Rs 300 billion were undertaken showing 100 per cent utilization and completion of more than 200 projects.
He also briefed the Prime Minister on the revival programme of Pakistan Steel Mills for which allocations had been made by Ministry of Finance to ensure the success of its new management and to gradually increase the output from present 20% utilization to 80% utilization of the Steel Mills capacity so it becomes profitable.
The Finance Minister said that the recent improvement in the production of electricity sector from 10,000MW to about 14,000 MW had given a relief to the public but greater efforts would be required from the management of the electricity sector and relevant ministries to overcome this challenge on a fasttrack basis.
The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction on the economic stability and appreciated the successful efforts of the team under the leadership of the Finance Minister and directed that prudent economic policies should be continued.
The Prime Minister also directed that the incoming year’s PSDP allocations to projects based on regional balance and completion of ongoing projects showed that the maximum benefits could be made available to the public, especially the people belonging to Balochistan, Fata and other less developed regions of the country.
The Finance Minister also gave an update on the working of the Cabinet Committee on Energy.