ISLAMABAD  -  Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh Thursday constituted a high powered committee to rectify anomalies in the federal budget for addressing the legitimate grievances of the business community. An 18-member delegation of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), led by its President Engineer Daroo Khan, called on the Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and apprised him about the anomalies in the budget. Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to Prime Minister on Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Syed Shabbar Zadi were also present in the meeting, a press release said.

Dr Abdul Hafeez while, giving an overview of the economic indicators, said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government inherited Rs31,000 billion as domestic debt and foreign loans were hovering around $100 billion. He said foreign reserves stood at less than $10 billion while exports in last five years registered zero percent growth. He said trade deficit was touching the mark of $20 billion, while fiscal deficit had reached at a staggering amount of Rs2,300 billion. Besides, circular debt was increasing by Rs38 billion each month. Abdul Hafeez further said our thrust will be on manufacturing rather than trading as it creates more job opportunities for people. He said private sector will be motivated to create jobs by giving them tax breaks on new hiring.

On this occasion, UBG Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik expressed confidence in the government’s fiscal policies and also ready to put forward their suggestions to help government achieve economic stability and targets. However, he urged the government for accelerating its pace building business friendly environment and extend all out facilities for promotion of investment and business activities.

He said Hafeez Sheikh is a seasoned economist and under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, they are confident that the economic team of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would put Pakistan’s economy back on track. He said situation can be improved by earning dollars for which exports, remittances and investment should be focused while unnecessary imports should be curtailed.