Govt presented budget keeping in mind current situation: Hafeez Shaikh

Federal govt removes Hafeez Shaikh from NFC

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Saturday said the budget presented by the federal government was made keeping in mind the coronavirus situation in the country and to help the people during the crisis.
“The first nine months, we had a lot of success. In 2018, the national debt was Rs30,000 billion and during the first two months, we spent returning the loans we had,” Shaikh said while addressing the post-budget conference on Saturday.
“We paid Rs2,700 billion towards debt retirement. This was done despite our total resources for provinces standing at Rs2,000 billion,” he said.
He added that the government decreased its expenditure and did not undertake any new borrowing.
“The government also had a series of firsts, such as no borrowing from the State Bank of Pakistan, decreased imports and an increase in foreign investment of nearly 137% in the country,” he added.
The adviser added that the government did not borrow a single penny from SBP, no supplementary grant was given to any department, and current account deficit was reduced from $20 billion to $3 billion.
“But in between this the coronavirus came and affected our economy. We have suffered a loss of Rs700 billion in revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak,” Hafeez said.
He added, “Coronavirus has affected the entire world. It is not an excuse, but it is a reality and thousands have been affected. Even the IMF has said countries would be affected by it; naturally it has taken a toll on our economy as well.”


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