Govt retired $9.5b of debt this year: Hammad Azhar informs NA


Islamabad, Jun 28 (TNS): The House has now started the process of approving the finance bill 2019 to give legal effect to the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.

Earlier, responding to points of opposition members, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar said the present government is taking the economy towards stability. He said previous governments are responsible for the current economic situation of the country.

Hammad Azhar the PML-N government put the economic stability of the country at stake during its last two years in power. He pointed out that Foreign Exchange Reserves declined by ten billion dollars in the last one and half year tenure of PML-N. He said the current account deficit also soared to 20 billion dollars during their tenure. He said the present government has reduced the current account deficit by 20 percent and trade deficit by 4 billion dollars. He said the previous government left behind the circular debt of 1140 billion rupees while we have enhanced the revenue of both power and gas sectors by launching successful drive against their pilferage.

Hammad Azhar said tax to GDP ratio witnessed a growth of two percent over the last ten years. He said PTI government will enhance the tax to GDP ratio by four percent in the next three years. He said we have also given a five year economic plan in the budget and we will also reduce debt to GDP ratio.

The Minister of State also rejected the impression that the government has imposed the taxes on essential commodities including meat, ghee, vegetables and fruits. He said we have only imposed tax on the exotic vegetables and fruits. He also clarified that the inflation rate in currently 9 percent which was 24 percent in the era of PPP.

Hammad Azhar said that it is for the first time that the House held threadbare discussion on the finance bill. He said 250 members participated in the general discussion on the budget, which reflects the democratic posture of the PTI government and impartiality of the Speaker.

Minister of State for Finance Hamad Azhar has said the PTI government retired 9.5 billion dollars of debt this year.

He was responding to the points of the opposition members in the National Assembly on Friday.

Earlier, speaking on the finance bill, Opposition members criticized the economic policies of the government. They described the budget anti-people and anti-growth, which they said, will bring poverty, unemployment and darkness to the country.

Meanwhile, Minister-in-charge for Finance Hammad Azhar moved “The Finance Bill, 2019” to give legal effect to the budgetary proposals for the next fiscal year.