ISLAMABAD (PR) - Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has assured the APNS office bearers and Executive Committee members that the government is fully cognizant of the print industry’s issues and problems and that in the short term it was the government’s responsibility to help media to brave the financial crises.

He said this while talking at a dinner hosted by Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary for the APNS Executive Committee here. Chairman PEMRA Muhammad Saleem, Chairman PTV Muhammad Arshad Khan, Chairman BOI Haroon Sharif, Federal Information Secretary Shafqat Jalil and PIO Mian Jahangir were also present on the occasion.

The finance minister said that negotiations with IMF have not been broken and are still underway and that the government did not waste any time in engaging the IMF. He further said that there is almost consensus among the Economic Advisory team that seeking IMF package is a reasonable option for Pakistan to stabilize its economy and currency in the short term.

The finance minister was very optimistic about the long-term growth prospects of Pakistan’s economy and said a number of foreign investors have shown keen interest in investing in certain high growth sectors. He further said that the steps being taken by the government will usher in an era of growth and will greatly benefit export related industries.

APNS President Hameed Haroon, Vice President Mehtab Khan, Secretary General Sarmad Ali, Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Rameeza Majid Nizami, Umer Mujib Shami, Shahab Zuberi, Jamil Ather, Mumtaz Tahir and other members of the Executive Committee apprised the minister of the problems being faced by the industry.

The finance minister said that notifications for withdrawal of 5% custom duty in line with the announcement of PM Imran Khan will be issued shortly.

He also said that the Finance Ministry is ready to work with APNS and Information Ministry to look at the issues of Withholding Tax and Tax Refund being faced by the newspapers and help find an amicable solution. He also assured that the Finance Ministry will instantly clear outstanding government advertisement dues after verification from the Information Ministry.