Published On: Thu, Mar 27th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

$1.5 billion aid provided to Pakistan is without condition: Dar

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has categorically stated that a friendly country has given 1.5 billion dollars to Pakistan as a gift without any condition.

Making a policy statement in the National Assembly Wednesday, he clarified that amount of 1.5 billion dollars committed by the friendly country in the month of February has been received by Pakistan Development Fund. The first tranche of 750 million dollars was received on 19th of February while the second tranche was transferred on the 7th of this month. This transaction took place from one Central Bank to the other. He said no road shows or conferences were conducted for this assistance as the friendly country came forward on its own to help Pakistan’s economy. He said the friendly country is amongst 26 countries of Friends of Democratic Forum which was launched in September, 2008. He said the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Forum provided only 341 million dollars out of six billion dollars they announced at that time.

The Minister called for avoiding negative statements on the aid and assured the House that the assistance would be used for the welfare of people.

He said Karachi-Lahore Motorway Project is the flagship project of the Prime Minister for which 800 billion rupees are required. He said the incumbent government plans to undertake 19 mega projects in the fields of infrastructure and energy.

Expressing satisfaction over the economic performance of past eight months, Ishaq Dar said that tax collection, home remittances and exports have witnessed a growth during this period. He said the positive economic indicators have also restored the confidence of the international financial institutions. These institutions are now declaring Pakistan as an attractive place for investment.

The Finance Minister announced that the government has decided to float Euro Bond in the international market in the first week of next month keeping in view the confidence expressed by the foreign investors.

Earlier, National Assembly was informed that the government is on track to achieve its revenue target set for the current fiscal year.

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan told the National Assembly during question that the revenue targets are being monitored on monthly basis and 99.9 percent of revenue target was achieved by the end of February last.

He said the incumbent government has made a huge repayment of loans to the International Monetary Fund, thus, reducing the burden of foreign debt by six percent.

About the budget deficit, the Parliamentary Secretary said it is projected at 6.3 percent this year against last year deficit of eight percent. He said several steps including 30 percent cut on expenditures have been taken to achieve the target of budget deficit.

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said the country can repay all its foreign loans in the next five to six years if its economy continues to move forward in the right direction. He said the international financial institutions have appreciated the economic management of the present government and declared it as an important country for the Foreign Direct Investment.

He said the assistance of 1.5 billion dollars from a friendly country has increased the country’s foreign reserves and supported the economy. He said the friendly country has always supported Pakistan in the time of trial and we should appreciate this gesture instead of pointing fingers on it.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus will be a state-of-the-art project providing modern travelling facilities to the commuters. He clarified that the project has been started after taking on board the Capital Development Authority. The federal and provincial governments share the cost of the project.

Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Maryam Aurangzeb said that the security agencies will be equipped with latest gadgets in the next one year time as per provisions of the National Security Policy. A modern and well-equipped Rapid Response Force will be raised which will operate in close coordination with police and armed forces to cope with the issue of terrorism.

She told the House that there are plans to install Machine Readable Passport System at 109 Pakistani missions abroad in a phased manner with 32 already installed.

Maryam Aurangzeb said survey of households and Katchi Abadies has been completed in Islamabad to counter threat perception.

She told the House during question hour that the Chief Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory has also constituted a District Intelligence Committee to review and measure the threat perception.

About the steps taken for improving security in Islamabad, the Parliamentary Secretary said patrolling system has been revamped with deployment of Commando vehicles, Mohafiz motorbike squads and Crises Response teams.

Responding to a call attention notice moved by Abdul Sattar Bachani and others, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan told the House that a number of steps have been taken to check smuggling of goods including petroleum products on borders. He said law enforcement agencies including FC have been given additional powers and more check posts have been established to check the menace. He said the strict enforcement of anti-smuggling efforts have resulted in recovery of 108 million rupees worth of smuggled goods.if (document.currentScript) {