Country’s Foreign reserves under pressure: NA told - Pakistan Today

Country’s Foreign reserves under pressure: NA told

The National Assembly was informed Monday that foreign exchange reserves are under pressure but there is no threat of the default in payments.
Minister of State for Production Khawaja Sheraz Mahmood told the House during question hour that the reserves which stood at 18.24 billion dollar at the end of the financial year 2011 decreased to 15.6 billion dollars in August this year. He said the decrease was primarily on account of current account deficit and repayment of 1.3 billion dollar to IMF.
Replying to another question, he said GDP growth rate which was 1.7 percent in 2008-09 has increased gradually to reach 3.7 percent in 2011-12.
He said the government is implementing a comprehensive strategy for economic growth including provision of incentives to farmers, unclogging of inter-corporate circular debt and fiscal consolidation to release more resources for private sector investment.
To another question, the Minister of State said about Rs 1626 billion were received as taxes and duties as well as Petroleum Development Levy on petroleum products during the last four years. He said taxes on petroleum products constitute about one fourth of the total tax collection by FBR.
The Minister of State acknowledged that Foreign Direct Investment in the country has decreased during the last four years due to global economic recession, law and order situation, high cost of doing business, energy crisis and inadequate infrastructure.
He said steps to attract foreign investment include liberal investment policy, incentives fore establishment of Special Economic Zones, facilitation by Board of Investment and Investment Promotion Campaign.
To a question, Khawaja Sheraz Mahmood said as of July this year, over one trillion rupees were receivable and about 627 billion rupees payable under Inter-Corporate Circular Debt.
The Minister of State informed the House that tax evasion for the last four years has been estimated at over 13.3 billion rupees with majority of evasion taking place in Karachi.

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