Economy capable of meeting defence needs: Tareen
* Adviser says defence not putting any burden on finances
* Says govt aiming to provide health insurance, employment to the poor
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani economy is fully capable of meeting the country’s defence requirements, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Economic Affairs and Finance Shaukat Tareen said on Monday.
Burden: Talking to a private TV channel, he said the Defence Ministry had not put any undue burden on the country’s finances despite tension on the eastern border and the movement of troops.
Responding to a question, Tareen said the government would never suspend finances needed to meet the country’s defence requirements. The adviser said the Finance Ministry had chalked out a comprehensive, nine-point roadmap of the government’s agenda for achieving short, medium and long-term economic goals.
“Our agenda is to bring micro-economic stability, increasing revenues, reducing the fiscal deficit, rationalisation of the developmental budget and poverty alleviation,” Tareen said.
Aims: He said besides disbursement of cash amount to the impoverished class, the government also aimed at providing them with health insurance and creating employment opportunities through skill development. Tareen said the economy was showing signs of improvement despite a financial crunch. The global economic meltdown had affected economies and stock markets throughout the world, the economic adviser said.
Tareen said the government’s efforts had already brought the inflation rate down. He expressed hope that the government would succeed in bringing the inflation rate down to a single digit by next year, adding inflation would drop by three percent in the next two months.
Respoding to a question, the finance adviser said he had no intention of increasing the interest rates if core inflation dropped. “A falling interest rate will provide confidence to markets to perform well,” he said.
Tareen said the Pakistan Electric Power Company was responsible for the circular debt of Rs 170 billion, adding the Finance Ministry had released Rs 7 billion to independent power producers to ease the outstanding debt. app
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