ISLAMABAD: The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) suggested that Debt Management Office should be upgraded to streamline national debt-related issues through consolidation of financial figures/tabulation. The council also sought for implementation of Debt Limitation Act 2005 to streamline all debt-related financial instruments.
The suggestions were made during second meeting of Economic Advisory Council held with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the chair. On the occasion, the participants expressed satisfaction over the policy statement of the Finance Minister. They also hoped that 30 per cent slash in expenditure as a result of austerity measures adopted by the government would help bridge the fiscal deficit to some extent.
On the occasion, the Finance Minister expressed his hope that the second meeting would mark reactivation of EAC, enabling the forum to provide opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with prominent professionals associated with the economic development issues of the country. Ishaq Dar said that “if we all put our heads together we can turn around Pakistan’s economy.” He informed that the Finance Ministry was ready to provide the EAC members access and arrange meetings so that they could play a productive role in reshaping the national’s economy.
The Minister told the participants that 10 percent increase in overseas remittances had been registered up to the current month and revenue collection targets had registered a 17.5 percent growth in 7 months and 21 percent in January 2014 as compared to the same period last year. The government intends to positively enhance foreign reserves up to $16 billion by end of December 2014. He claimed that by end of March 2014 a sizeable increase in forex reserves was anticipated with a projected figure more than $10 billion dollars since forex inflows were adding up steadily.
Meanwhile, the FBR management informed the EAC members about rationalisation of taxation-based concessionary regime, with a projected revenue collection target during 2013-14 touching Rs2,471 billion. The EAC members were also briefed about the oil and gas reserves in the country which evoked a stimulating discussion.