Friday, 14 November 2014

Dar notices decline in prices of commodities

Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar Thursday said the economic activities in the country were on track and due to the government''s prudent policies the prices of different commodities have come down reasonably. "The government has already made a major cut in the petroleum prices which also caused a declining trend in the prices of different commodities," the minister said in a statement here Thursday. 

He said all economic indicators are showing positive results and the national economy received no major setback due to sit-ins and protests in the country during the last three months. He said the foreign exchange reserves had reached $13.27 billion by November 10 and expected to surge to US $15 billion in the next few weeks due to inflows because of successful conclusion of negotiations on fourth and fifth review between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Dubai last week, the transaction of Sukuk bonds and sale of Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) shares.

Dar said remittances for first the four months of the fiscal year 2014-15 stood at $6.06 billion as compared to $5.26 billion of the same period of last year, showing an increase of 15 percent. Regarding agriculture credit, the minister added that the government had injected Rs 89 billion in Zarai Taraqqiati Bank (ZTBL) and Rs 13 billion in House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC) in order to strengthen balance sheets of these entities.

"During July-September, 2013-14 the ZTBL agriculture credit stood at Rs 70.8 billion while during the same period of current fiscal year it stood at Rs 98.1 billion," he said. Dar said that due to news of a successful programme with the IMF and agreements on different projects worth over $45 billion with China, the index of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) crossed 31,000 points, which is an all-time high in the history of Pakistan''s stock market.

He said that the government borrowing by October 25, 2013 was Rs 585 billion as against Rs 104 billion in the same period of current fiscal year which shows the government''s commitment towards reducing fiscal deficit and containing inflation. The Finance Minister said the government has also succeeded in its resolve to contain inflation within single digit and the average inflation during the first four months of current fiscal year remained 7.1 percent while during month of October, 2014 it further declined to as low as 5.8 percent. Exports figures, however, were not positive as exports during the first three months of current year witnessed a decline of 5.25 percent by falling from $6.2 billion last year to $5.96 billion this year, he added. Imports increased by 11.6 percent by going up from $10.98 billion during the first three months of 2013-14 to $11.828 billion during the same period of last year.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2014

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