Economy shifting from consolidation to growth: Tarin
ISLAMABAD: Owing to prudent fiscal policies and strict financial discipline, Pakistan’s economy is shifting from consolidation to growth, a senior government official said on Thursday.
During a virtual meeting with Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) at the Finance Division, Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Shaukat Tarin said that the government’s objective is to steer the economy towards an inclusive and sustainable growth with key focus on bottom-up approach as envisaged by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A Kamyab Pakistan Programme is being introduced to develop the underprivileged population by extending microcredit to promote financial empowerment.
The finance minister also briefed the executive secretary of UNESCAP about the macroeconomic challenges being faced by Pakistan and underlined economic and fiscal policies being undertaken to place the economy on the growth trajectory.
Tarin said that the government of Pakistan has to opt for the IMF programme to fix the balance of payments crisis due to the precarious economic situation in FY 2018.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic shock resulted in considerable economic contraction leading to loss of livelihoods, disruption in supply lines and limited economic activity during partial lockdowns.
At present, Pakistan is faced with a difficult choice to strike a balance between the need for fiscal consolidation and ever-increasing demand for economic stimulus to stimulate economic growth, amid Covid-19 and in the post-Covid scenario.
Nevertheless, the government introduced smart and targeted lockdowns across various cities/districts to curtail the spread of virus. This strategy was lauded globally for striking a balance between the lives and livelihoods, during testing times, he added.
Moreover, the finance minister said the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan has posed new economic challenges for Pakistan. Peace and stability in Afghanistan is important for the whole region, he stressed.
The executive secretary extended an invitation to the finance minister for delivering a keynote address at the upcoming meeting of UNESCAP’s Committee on Macroeconomic Policy.
The three-day committee meeting will deliberate upon the macroeconomic policies of the member countries, as well as issues relating to financing for development.
She emphasised the significance of supporting countries, which are facing financing and development constraints due to the ongoing pandemic. She stressed the need for evolving a mechanism to provide maximum relief to the developing countries, which are facing socioeconomic challenges.
This committee meeting will propose the establishment of a consultative group on financing for development for SDGs, she said.
The finance minister accepted the invitation to deliver the keynote address in a virtual mode.
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