Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Wednesday urged every company to export 10% of their products to earn foreign exchange for Pakistan and assured that the government would facilitate exporters in this regard.
Addressing the leaders of Islamabad – Business Summit, he said there were four principles – to live within the means, to promote exports, to increase agricultural productivity and to focus on the education of children – which, they were followed, would put the country on the path of growth and development.
There was an urgent need to identify the mistakes that had slowed Pakistan’s progress compared to other countries, Ismail said.
The finance minister noted that the country had a huge debt burden, including a deficit of 5.2 trillion rupees last year and 3.5 trillion over the past four years. In comparison, the deficit stood at Rs 1.6 tr during the five-year tenure of the previous PML-N government, he said.
The minister said the country’s debt had more than doubled in the past four years. He added, however, that it will be contained to Rs4tr in the current year.
Ismail said there would have been no problem if the debt had been used to improve productivity.
The minister said that due to the measures introduced by the incumbent government, the inflows of dollars have exceeded the outflows in the current month.
Second, the Minister said, there was a strong need to focus on improving exports through diversification. No attention has been paid to the export sector over the past 11 years, which is why there has been no substantial growth and instead exports have declined, he said.
Ismail noted that the country had imported 1.1 million tonnes of wheat so far this year, pointing out that money spent on importing wheat could be saved by boosting agricultural productivity by supporting farmers and incorporating the latest technologies.
A task force has been created to tackle problems in the agricultural sector, pakistan radio cited said the minister.
The Minister also stressed the importance of separating rural and urban poverty and developing strategies that would make the poor richer.
Ismail said successive governments had failed to provide adequate education since the 1970s and even the private sector was unable to do so. If children were properly educated, the problems of future generations would be solved, he added.