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‘Govt’s endeavours to stabilize economy yielding positive results’

Caretaker Minister for Finance Dr Shamshad Akhtar says the government’s steps to stabilize economy are yielding positive results and the economy is performing well now.

She was addressing a news conference along with Caretaker Minister for Power and Energy Muhammad Ali and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi in Islamabad on Friday.

Giving details of the prevailing economic condition, the Minister for Finance said the Consumer Price Index has shown a major decline which proves that we have come out of the difficult position. She said the Productive Sector has also registered improvement while the Services Sector is vibrant.

Shamshad Akhtar said consultations with the donor agencies are underway and we hope to get immediate fast flow in some sectors besides normal flow of funds. She said we are making our best efforts for a cumulative assistance of the World Bank up to 2 billion dollars.

She said the position of Foreign Direct Investment is also improving while the country's reserves are stable now. She said ongoing anti-smuggling drive has also helped to stable dollar position in the county.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Power and Energy, Muhammad Ali said the massive crackdown against power theft is yielding significant results. He said drive against power theft is not for a limited time period, but it will continue in future as well and we will expedite and expand its scope.

The Minister said the government is working on a comprehensive plan to change the Board of Governors of the Distribution Companies. He said the CEOs of the DISCOs will also be reshuffled to improve their governance and capacity.

Muhammad Ali said steps are being taken to check electricity theft and pass-on minimum burden of the increased prices of the electricity bills to the consumers.

The Minister said Power Sector has a total Circular Debt of 2500 billion rupees while the Circular Debt of Gas Sector is 2900 billion rupees. He said we are making efforts to manage this huge Circular Debt.

He informed the media persons that the government is taking practical steps to ensure availability of gas in winter season. He said we are expediting the efforts for exploration of new oil and gas reserves as no significant attention was paid towards this sector during the past ten years.

The Minister said we have established a Central Control Room in the Power Division to monitor the ongoing campaign against power theft.

Replying to a question, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said it is commitment of the caretaker setup to fulfill all the requirements in terms of finances and security to the Election Commission of Pakistan for holding elections in the country.

Responding to another question, Murtaza Solangi said the caretaker government is waiting for the Supreme Court to issue a detailed judgment on a case related to the amendments in National Accountability Bureau laws. He said the Law Ministry and legal experts will review the detailed judgment and future course of action will be announced in the light of their opinion.

Source: Radio Pakistan