Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif emphasised the importance of drafting an economic strategy during the day-long Pre-Budget Business Conference on Tuesday, stating that all stakeholders should work together to develop a framework for attaining economic growth.
During his speech, the PM stressed the importance of financial management in order to boost exports and agricultural yields. The meeting was attended by senior economists, industrialists and was organised by the government to explore avenues of consensus-based economic initiatives, according to APP.
“All of us will have to move collectively. The government will need guidance from stakeholders and experts. The government will form a taskforce on agriculture and exports for formulating comprehensive plans,” he said.
PM Shehbaz stated that his government had about 15 months to implement short and medium-term economic initiatives.
He was disappointed that Pakistan was lagging behind other countries, despite the fact that the rest of the world had excelled by following their development plans. He claimed that Pakistan was endowed with talented individuals capable of replicating India’s success in the IT sector.
PM Shehbaz announced that he had assigned Minister of Information Technology Aminul Haque the objective of increasing IT exports to $15 billion in the next two years. “We cannot progress until we set ambitious targets,” he stressed.
Syed Amin Ul Haque pledged on Tuesday to increase information technology exports to $5 billion by the end of 2023.
For the coming fiscal year, several IT and telecommunications programmes have been proposed in this regard.
According to sources, these projects include 31 existing and two new ones, for which the Pakistani government would give Rs4,438.696 million and foreign aid will provide Rs1,042 million.
Budget allocation for IT sector
Reportedly, an amount of Rs100 million is proposed for IT professional certification through the Pakistan Software Export Board, while Rs80 million is planned for Crime Analytics and Smart Policing. In Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, Rs50 million has been suggested for demand-driven industry, while Rs179 million has been earmarked for the building of a data centre to provide cloud-based services.
PM Shehbaz warned that development plans could not be implemented unless political stability was achieved. The premier also stressed the importance of concentrating on exports and developing the agricultural sector.
He went on to claim that he was aiming to ‘fix’ friendly country relations that had deteriorated during the previous administration’s tenure. “I have invited China, Japan, Turkey, and other countries to invest in Pakistan,” he said. He invited the corporate community to join him in this endeavour.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stated that the government will require $41 billion in the next 12 months and that he is ‘confident’ that this can be achieved.
The Shehbaz Sharif government, he added, has re-engaged with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “We spoke with them and are extremely optimistic that we will reach an agreement with the IMF soon. That is something we are extremely certain about”.
Moreover, he explained that the present coalition administration had made difficult measures to help the economy stabilise. “It is difficult for any prime minister to authorise a fuel price hike of twice the amount we have, but we were losing Rs84 per litre on diesel and Rs69 per litre on petrol”.
Leave a Reply