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PM Shehbaz Sharif reiterates call for charter of economy

PM Shehbaz Sharif says that there could be no economic stability without political stability in the country.

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday reiterated his call for formulating a ‘Charter of Economy,’ stressing that there could be no economic stability without political stability in the country.

Addressing a day-long pre-budget business conference in Islamabad, the premier said, invited all stakeholders to join hands to launch “an unalterable policy framework” to revive the ailing economy so that no future government could compromise on important national issues.

“Let us sign a ‘Charter of Economy’ for economic stability and progress and seal it so that whosoever will come to power cannot change basic goals.”

Top industrialists, agriculturists, and economists attended the conference and suggested steering the country out of an unprecedented economic crisis.

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The prime minister vowed that the suggestions floated at the conference would be considered to cement a comprehensive policy framework for agro-based and export-oriented growth.

He said it’s about time the elite class had to make sacrifices, adding that non-productive assets like real estate should be taxed and vertical housing should be encouraged to save as much land as possible.

The premier said bold decisions were the need of the hour and noted that building large dams was one such decision.

He said that Pakistan lagged because of the non-execution of development plans, while other nations like India excelled. “Being rich with resources, human talent, and dedication, Pakistan can also achieve excellence through efficiency and modern techniques,” he added.

Comparing the countries’ IT industries, the prime minister said the Indian industry generates around $200 billion, while Pakistan’s industry hovers around $2.5 billion.

He said the government aims to achieve a 6% GDP growth rate in the next financial year 2022-23 through an effective strategy, while strategic measures are being planned to control inflation.

He added, “The government has re-engaged with Saudi Arabia, China, the UAE [United Arab Emirates] and other friendly countries, and it will hopefully help improve the situation.”

Criticising the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the Prime Minister said some 20 million people went below the poverty line during the last four years. He said the PTI government took Rs 5,177 billion in foreign debt as opposed to the PML-N government’s Rs 2,132 billion.

He also announced that the government would provide a stipend to around 14 million people, adding that 600,000 people lost their jobs during PTI’s government.

Meanwhile, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the total outlay of the development budget would be up to Rs800 billion.

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Addressing a presser, Iqbal said that 88% of the PSDP for 2022-23 would consist of projects initiated by the previous government and 12% of new projects.

No such thing as Charter of Economy: Fawad Chaudhry

Earlier in an interview with ARY News, PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry had said, “There’s no such thing as Charter of Economy. There can’t be consensus within political parties regarding the economy as they do politics on the economy.”

Chaudhry said, “There can be consensus on the process of accountability, the appointment of the judiciary and the extent to which it can interfere in politics, suo motto’s jurisdiction, but when it comes to the economy, all the political parties have major differences.”