Pakistan Forex reserves reach record high of $ 17.3 billion: Hafeez Shaikh

ISLAMABAD, June 3 2011: Minister for Finance Dr. Hafeez Shaikh on Friday said that the government achieved great success despite several challenges in the last year and tried its best to provide maximum relief to masses.During his budget speech (2011-12) in National Assembly, he said that foreign reserves of the country have reached 17.3 billion dollars mark, while remittances reached the level of 12 billion dollars, which is the highest ratio in the economic history of country.He said that several parts of the country including Southern Punjab,Interior Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa faced flood and more than 25,000 kilometers roads and crops were damaged besides problems in revenue and tax collection.

He said that international community including UK, USA, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia cooperated a lot with Pakistan during this critical time. A programme costing Rs. 160 billion was started for the rehabilitation and austerity campaign was launched which helped to cut official expenses upto Rs. 20 bilion.

He said that tax collection system was improved and zero tax rating was eliminated. Flood tax was imposed for one time and downtrodden were helped out.

He said that 26 per cent increase in import was witnessed,adding that efforts would continue for further improvement. He said that democratic government took several steps to ensure transparency in the working
of various departments and Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar was nominated as Chairman Public Accounts Committee.

He said that parliamentary committees are working very well and ensuring accountability after reviewing the performances of official departments.

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