All out efforts being made to bring PIA out of deficit: Ishaq Dar
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said all out efforts were being made to bring Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) out of deficit.
Talking to a private news channel he said, the government had started restructuring of national flag carrier from day one. Its fleet had been expanded from 18 to 38 which would soon reach 40, he added.
To a question about privatization of the Steel Mills he said, initially, Sindh Government was offered to purchase the Steel Mills. He said civil and military leadership had same goals regardingoperation Zarb-e-Azb and eradicating terrorism from the country.
To another question the Minister said, former Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik, his party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would continue their cooperation for the peace and progress of the province.
The Chief Minister of Balochistan had been changed due to an agreement of the two parties, he said adding, the province had noticed an improved law and order situation particularly during last two and half years.
Replying to a question he said, the Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had given special instructions to Punjab government for taking strict action in accordance with the law against banned outfits. Ishaq Dar said, seminaries and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) were being registered under newly formulated policy.
Operation Zarb-e-Azb would continue till the elimination of last terrorist as civil and military leadership had expressed their resolve in this regard, he added.
He said, Karachi operation should continue as due to the operation, peace had been restored in the mega city and economic activities of the city noticed an upward trend.
Ishaq Dar said, all the political parties were taken on board before launching Karachi operation in Sept 2013, adding due to the operation 85 percent crime rate had decreased in the city. Business community had also expressed their confidence on the operation, the minister said. He said, the government had reduced the fiscal deficit by 50% and Pakistan’s economic progress was best in the region, he added.
To another question he said, tax and energy reforms were must for economic stability of the country and enhanced tax collection was only way out to overcome fiscal shortfall.
Ishaq Dar said the government had made hard efforts to achieve economic stability particularly during first two years of its tenure which also helped regaining the confidence of international financial institutions. The country had made a significant progress in energy sector and various economic targets were achieved by the government, he said adding, the country’s foreign reserves would soon reach $21 billion. He hoped more good news regarding economic stability of the country in near future.
Due to prudent policies of the government, the government was able to achieve various set targets within current fiscal year. “The government is focusing on tax reforms for economic stability and prosperity in the country,” he said.
Ishaq Dar said that circular debt increased due to lack of energy reforms and unfortunately no power project was initiated to overcome energy crisis during last regimes. To a question about National Action Plan he said, it was being implemented in letter and spirit and all law enforcement agencies were working in collaboration with each other.
The government wanted to move ahead in collaboration with all political parties as political stability needed to achieve economic stability.