Hague meets Hafeez
Islamabad, June 12, 2012 (PPI-OT): The British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. William Hague today met with the Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in his office, he was accompanied by Mr. Adam Thompson British High Commissioner in Islamabad and other members of his team.
During the meeting the Finance Minister briefed, the visiting Secretary of State on the current economic situation of the country and apprised him of the various achievements this government has made during the last four years particularly in lowering down the inflation rate below 10%.
The Minister said that the present government is quite aware of the economic difficulties of the vulnerable groups of the society therefore its major emphasis is to give increased allocation to the Benazir Income Support Programme by which the downtrodden sections of the society’s difficulties can be alleviated.
He said despite natural calamities in the country we have managed 3.7% growth rate, and have historic exports in spite of the global downturn trend. The Minister, said that we have controlled the administrative expenditure, in this regard, he maintained that this government is attaching priority to the completion of the ongoing projects instead of initiating new ones.
He said that under the 7th NFC Award we have disbursed 65% to 70% of the collected revenue among the provinces, that is more than Rs.600 billion additional amount to provinces and the Federal Government is left with only less than 35% of the same and from this amount we have to run the Federal Government, debt serving and allocation to the defence services.
The Minister for Finance also said that we have collected twenty-five percent more taxes than the previous years which is unprecedented and this will help improving the Tax – GDP ratio.
The major themes of the presented budget 2012-13 are the macro-economic stability, pro investment policies, looking after the vulnerable groups, and eradication of unemployment by creating more jobs in the market the Minister said. .
The visiting Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from Britain appreciated the devolution process in Pakistan, and laid emphasis on the expansion of trade by creating more opportunities between Pakistan and Britain, and said that there is a strong history of bilateral trade relationship between Pakistan and Britain for future growth.
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Secretaries of Finance, Commerce, EAD; and Chairman FBR from the Pakistan side, and the Economic Counsellor and members of the delegation from the British side – later the Federal Minister presented gift of Carpet to the visiting distinguished guest.
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