In order to arrest downslide of economy, Government had to cut extra public sector expenditures, reduce subsidies, control corruption, increasing tax revenue: Minister

Islamabad, March 26, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform, Prof, Ahsan Iqbal, while meeting with Mr. Paul Robilliard, First Assistant Secretary, South and West Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affair and Trade, Australia, said, “In order to arrest downslide of economy, Government had to take swift steps in the form of cutting extra public sector expenditures, reducing subsidies, controlling corruption and increasing tax revenue. Government has succeeded in turning the tide and inflation has been lowered to single digit.”

In response to the query of Mr. Paul about the future plans of the government, Minister said, “We have devised a roadmap for future in the form of Vision 2025 and five year plan. Our development strategy hinges on seven priorities, which are; Human and Social development, Inclusive, sustainable, export led growth, Institutional and governance reforms, Energy-food-water security, Infrastructure development for regional connectivity, Private sector led development, and bringing competitiveness through value addition in agriculture and manufacturing sectors. ”

The Minister appreciated Australian Government’s assistance in human resource development and proposed a more targeted approach in light of Pakistan’s needs. He proposed greater cooperation in water, dairy and live stoke sectors, in which Pakistan can greatly learn from Australian experience.

Mr. Paul Robilliard agreed with the minister that economic reforms is a very difficult, painful and time taking process, as it destroys status quo, but definitely bring positive changes in the end. He agreed with the Minister that AusAID will coordinate with the Ministries to award more targeted scholarships to bring high value in it for the recipient country when the Minister showed that there is a need to use scholarships for the capacity building of Finance, Planning, Agriculture, Water and Power and IT Ministries.

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