Shaukat Tarin does not approve of PM’s criticism of EU in public
Says European Union, USA our big markets for exports
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Talking to a presser in Islamabad on Wednesday, the finance minister said that though no compromise could be made on Pakistan’s sovereignty and Prime Minister Imran Khan had every right to defend it ‘but he should not condemn the EU in a public rally’. As the European Union and America are big buyers of our export items, he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan during a public rally in Mailsi on Sunday responded to a letter written by representatives of the EU, in which they asked Pakistan to condemn Russia’s “unprovoked attack” on Ukraine.
The PM told the gathering: “I ask the ambassadors of the European Union did you write a letter to India too?”.
The PM’s statement on an affair relating to country’s foreign policy in public was vehemently condemned by the opposition and they hit him hard on this front in their campaigns.
On opposition’s recently accelerated anti-government overtures, Tarin said that since opposition knew that it stood no chance in the next elections that’s why it was raising a din.
“Everyone knows about the landmines which the previous government has laid down,” the finance minister added.
He said that government was providing relief to people and for this purpose, it was giving a subsidy of Rs104 billion on petroleum products. He said despite soaring prices of petroleum products in the international market, the government had slashed the petroleum levy and brought sales tax on it to zero.
Tarin said those consuming 700 units of electricity per month, they will be given a subsidy Rs5 per unit for the next four months. The government is giving a subsidy of Rs136 billion for this purpose.
He told the media that negotiations were being held with the IMF over the PM’s relief package. The IMF should not have objections on the package as we are meeting it from our own resources including enhancement in tax revenues, he added. He said the move would not increase our fiscal deficit.
The finance minister said the government had also announced the industrial relief package to promote industries in the country. “The package envisages tax holiday for overseas Pakistanis and incentives for the turnaround of sick industries,” Tarin said.
The minister said tax exemptions were also been given to the IT sector in order to bolster its exports. He pointed out that the IT sector grew by 47% last year and currently growing by 70%. “We are eying 100% growth in this sector during the next year,” Tarin said hopefully.
He sounded upbeat by saying that our trade deficit had also come down.