Senate: (18 projects being implemented for revival of industrial sector: Senate told)

March 1, 2016 Off By Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Wednesday that about Rs 27 billion are being spent on 18 projects for revival of the industrial sector.

Replying to questions on behalf of the Ministry of Industries, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmad said three industrial estates are also being established in Balochistan for socio-economic uplift in the province.

Responding to a question on behalf of the Finance Minister, Federal Minister Zahid Hamid told the House that a proposal is under consideration for up-gradation of the posts of LDC, UDC and Assistant. He, however, said there is no proposal under consideration for up-gradation of the post of Superintendent.

To another question he said total foreign public debt outstanding as of 31st of January this year was 53.122 billion dollars. He said the government received 20.810 billion dollars foreign loans during the last three years. However, foreign loans amount to 12.884 billion dollar were repaid during the same period.

To yet another question, Zahid Hamid said over two hundred and nine thousand personnel are required for census besides security personnel.

Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar presented three bills before the House. These are [The Offences in Respect of Banks (Special Courts) (Amendment) Bill, 201-; The Equity Participation Fund (repeal) Bill, 2016] and The Banks (Nationalization) (Amendment) Bill, 2016. These were referred to the Standing Committee concerned. These bills have already been passed by National Assembly.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) collected taxes worth Rs 1593.5 billion during the first seven months of the current financial year as against Rs 1345.3 billion same period last year, constituting 18.4 percent increase. This was stated by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while briefing Senate on Public Debt and Economy on Wednesday.

He expressed the confidence that at the existing pace of collection the country can expect tax collection to the tune of three thousand to three thousand and one hundred billion rupees by the close of the year.

He said budget deficit during seven months of the current fiscal year was 1.8 percent as against 2.3 percent same period last year. Remittances by Overseas Pakistanis during seven months were 11.2 billion dollars, representing six percent increase over the same period last year.

The Finance Minister acknowledged that there was eleven percent decline in exports during first seven months of the current financial year because of global economic depression. He said exports during this period were 12.513 billion dollars as against 14.129 billion dollars same period last year.

Imports also declined by 6.8 percent during this period as compared to same period last year. Imports in first seven months stood at 23.387 billion dollars as against 25.108 billion dollars during comparable period last year. The Minister said trade deficit during first seven months stood at 10.874 billion dollars which is slightly less than 10.979 billion dollars same period last year.

He said the Foreign Direct investment during this period was 647.9 billion dollars as against 619.6 billion dollars same period last year, representing 4.6 percent increase.

He said inflation during eight months of the current financial year was recorded at 2.48 percent as against 5.45 percent same period last year. He hoped that inflation would remain below 4 percent for the whole year.

Ishaq Dar said GDP growth rate target for the current year was 5.5 percent but there might by some problems because of decline in cotton production. He categorically said Pakistan will never role back its nuclear programme.

The country will not compromise on its nuclear programme and provide necessary resources for the programme. He said provision of funds for Operation Zarb-e-Azb and temporarily displaced persons is also top priority.