Advisor to the Prime Minister on Economy and Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on Sunday said that good effects of tough decision have started emerging and the economy has started moving towards stability.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday, he said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has succeeded in reducing the circular debt to less than 10 billion rupees.

Hafeez Sheikh said when PTI government came into power the country was heading towards bankruptcy, but under the objective of economic stability, a number of steps were taken to control our Dollar Reserves, adding that the government expenses were reduced through austerity measures and current account deficit was also reduced over 70 percent.

The adviser went on to say that 600,000 additional tax payers were registered. He said a new system has been introduced since 23rd of the last month under which speedy refunds are given to the business community. Now, refunds will be automatically ensured on 16th of every month.

“The process of privatization has been expedited and state owned enterprises will be restructured in a fast track manner to improve their performance,” Shaikh said and added the government is considering privatization of National Bank of Pakistan and State Life Insurance for better results.

He said value of rupee has improved resulting in a benefit of 246 billion rupees in loans. He said 250 billion rupees have been allocated for the development of agriculture sector.

Dr Hafiz further said the government fixed the economic growth target of 2.4, which will be achieved easily due to prudent economic policies of the government.

To a question, he said ease of doing business is top priority of the government.

He said: “Government is providing loans and subsidy to the business community on gas, electricity, due to which exports are on the rise. Businessmen are important for the government, who are vital in provision of jobs.”

Responding to another question, the Advisor said merit, transparency, and protection of workers’ rights will be the top priority in the privatization process. He also made it clear that there was no tax on food items.