Published On: Tue, Feb 12th, 2019
Published in Category: Peshawar

Pakistan close to sign agreement with IMF, says Asad Umar

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Peshawar: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar stated that Pakistan is close to signing an agreement with economic assistance package with the International Monetary Fund.

Addressing a ceremony at Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Peshawar on Monday, he expressed satisfaction that the international lender has shown flexibility on its position.

The Minister said government will simplify the tax procedure in order to widen the tax net. He said a pilot project to this effect will be introduced for traders in Islamabad first and then will replicated in other parts of the country.

Asad Umar while underscoring the importance of increasing trade with neighboring countries said Pakistani products have a huge potential in Iran, Afghanistan and other countries of the region.

The Minister said gas discoveries made in Southern districts of the province will help improve the supply of this commodity in the province. He said that province is also endowed with rich water resources and hydel potential of the country need to be effectively used.

He insisted that Pakistan needed to “increase trade with Iran and Afghanistan with complete focus”. The finance minister also commented on the Afghan peace process and said that “Pakistan should play whatever role it can” in ensuring peace in the neighbouring country.

He acknowledged that trade had slowed down due to the closure of Torkham border and pointed out that the prime minister had already announced that the crossing should remain open 24 hours.

He said that the geographical location of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was important in terms of establishing trade routes and it should be recognised in the national economic policy.

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