ISLAMABAD:(APS)October 24, 2016-Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM House today.
Appreciating IMF’s assistance for Pakistan’s economic recovery and macroeconomic stability, the Prime Minister said that the present Government has achieved economic stability by pursuing a comprehensive reforms agenda. The Prime Minister added that the tireless efforts of the economic team of the government have turned around the Pakistani economy in a short span of three years. We are successfully delivering on the major challenges of terrorism, economy and power shortages that we inherited from the previous governments’, added the Prime Minister.
‘We have dismantled the terrorists’ networks and even presently 200,000 troops are deployed in the Northern part of our country to completely eliminate the menace of terrorism from our country. More than 24000 precious human lives have been lost, about 50000 wounded while our economy suffered a loss of $ 100 billion in this war against terrorism’, added the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said that though the situation is under control, but the armed forces are still working hard to dismantle the remaining hideouts of terrorists from the country.
In regard to relations with Afghanistan, the Prime Minister emphasized that Pakistan is sincere to help in bringing stability to Afghanistan which is also in the interest of Pakistan. ‘Peace and stability and Afghanistan would ensure peace in Pakistan and the region as well, added the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister further said that better management of the border with Afghanistan is also proactively pursued by Pakistan to safeguard the porous border.
The Prime Minister said that his Government’s ongoing endeavours include addressing energy shortfall at the earliest and improving the country’s infrastructure and communication networks. The Prime Minister said that his government is focussed on increasing the economic growth and then take it to the next level by ensuring the trickledown effect of the economic gains achieved by our government. ‘We want to further reduce our expenditures, increase our exports and lower down the cost of production for our industrial and agriculture sectors’, stressed the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister said that his government is setting up power projects in Hydel, coal, LNG and would be able to eliminate the power shortages from the country by the year 2018. The Prime Minister further said that there is no load shedding for the industrial sector and the focus is on producing cheaper and affordable electricity.
‘We are also committed to provide social protection to the poor and vulnerable people of our society for which our government has increased the budgetary allocation to BISP from Rs 40 to Rs 120 billion in the last three years. The poor families covered under this programme have been increased from 3 million to 5.6 million families’, said the Prime Minister.
Sharing her excitement with the Prime Minister on her first visit to Pakistan, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF said that she is very pleased to be here. She lauded the Prime Minister for steering the country out of multiple challenges and achieving macroeconomic stability in a short period of time. The MD, IMF congratulated the Prime Minister on successfully completing the IMF programme which has helped Pakistan restore its macroeconomic stability, reduce vulnerabilities and make progress in tackling key structural challenges. ‘It is a fantastic step in your journey that you have achieved a better and solid economic position in a brief period of two years’, said the MD.
Christine Lagarde said that completion of IMF programme reflects very positively on the country as it is viewed a symbol of credibility and stability the world over. She said that Pakistan is now in a better fiscal position and certainly out of economic crisis. The MD IMF said that the economic growth has gradually increased; fiscal deficit has reduced while inflation has continuously declined in Pakistan. She also appreciated the country’s strengthened social safety nets and tax policy and administration reforms.