News Column

Growth rate to remain over 4% this year: Dar

May 5, 2014

Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Sunday expressed the hope the national economy would grow by over 4 per cent during the current fiscal year (2013-14).

Inflation would remain in a single digit spurred by growth in both agricultural and industrial sectors, Dar said while addressing the First Business Session at 47th annual meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Astana, Kazakstan.

Dar said the fiscal deficit had been restrained to around 6 per cent through an increase in revenues and reduction in expenditures along with positive growth in exports and remittances.

Necessary domestic reforms were being undertaken along-with government preference for regional integration through increased connectivity and enhanced preferential arrangements, he added.

He also outlined the governmen's strategies in overcoming the macroeconomic challenges, according to a statement issued by Finance Ministry here. Meanwhile, during the Constituency Breakfast Meeting, Dar suggested the ADB to revise the absolute poverty line from USD 1.25 per day to USD 2 per day in conformity with the latest revision adopted by the International Monetary Fund.

The minister stated that presently 2.4 billion people (40 per cent of world population) were living below the poverty line of US$2.During the Governor's Plenary Session, the minister while highlighting the recent natural disasters in Pakistan and the response and future strategy of National Disaster Management Authority of Pakistan, emphasized the need to reduce the exposure to the natural hazards and disasters.

He suggested the development partners such as ADB, World Bank and IMF to devise different strategies and action plans for promoting disaster risk reduction programmes.

He also offered that these institutions could benefit from Pakistan's experiences. During his call on the Minister for Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Bakhyt Sultanov, he extended the invitation to President Nursultan Nazarbayev as well as to Finance Minister to visit Pakistan during the current year.

He emphasized the need to examine the existing frameworks for increasing the present level of bilateral trade, which was far below the potential of two countries.

He requested the minister to consider measures for easing the movement of people along with enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, investment banking and finance.

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Source: National Herald Tribune (Pakistan)

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