Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said Pakistan’s economy has witnessed tremendous economic turnaround and is currently reckoned as one of the fastest growing economies in the region with countless investment opportunities.
While delivering a keynote address at the Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, on the topic ‘Pakistan’s Economic Reforms: It’s Quest for Investment, Prospects for Development & Social Change’, the minister said that after assuming power in 2013, PML-N government immediately undertook concerted efforts to stabilise ailing economy, said a press release.
He said that Pakistan and the US are longstanding friends, partners and strategic allies. He further emphasised that Pakistan is looking forward to working closely with the new US administration to further develop and strengthen bilateral relations. “We have already had some very promising interactions with the new administration to this end,” he said.
The government has vigorously pursued 4Es strategy: focusing on energy, economy, elimination of extremism and education. Structural reforms were introduced which included reducing untargeted subsidies and broadening tax base coupled with building foreign exchange reserves and curtailing inflation rates. Tax collections have increased by 60 per cent over the last three years, which is a complete break with the past, he added.
Minister Dar remarked that due to the prudent fiscal and monetary policies, Pakistan has witnessed a strong economic turnaround which is evident in GDP growth rebound, low to moderate inflation, stable rupee and a remarkable increase in foreign exchange reserves.
For the first time ever, Pakistan successfully completed IMF’s extended fund facility programme. Pakistan has also successfully re-entered bond and Sukuk market, while the country’s ratings have been improving.
While referring to the markedly improved security situation in the country, the finance minister said that the economic progress is inextricably linked with peace and security. “Given the countless sacrifices our people have made, and continue to make every day in the fight against terrorism and extremism, it would be fair to say that no one understands and appreciates the desperate need for peace more than Pakistan,” he added.
To a question, minister specifically stated that “our nukes are completely safe.” Pakistan’s command and control system, as well as nuclear safety regime, remain robust and are at par with international standards.