Prime Minister Wants A Strategy to Topple Inflation, says Shibli Faraz

On Tuesday, ShibliFaraz, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting said that Prime Minister Imran Khan aims to provide relief to the public and has instructed the cabinet to come up with a strategy that can help bring down inflation, mainly the prices of food items. 

Briefing a news conference about the weekly cabinet meeting and the decisions taken in it, Shibli said that the Prime Minister and the cabinet are worried regarding the climb in the prices of the food items. 

Senator Shibli said Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar gave a briefing to the cabinet about the economic indicators. He described economic indicators to be satisfactory, considering the foreign exchange reserves are $20 billion, the large-scale manufacturing is ameliorating significantly, the current account deficit is now positive unlike two years back, and that dollar-to-rupee exchange rate is getting stable. 

As a result of the steps taken by the government to boost job creation and business activity, foreign direct investment has increased. In addition to this, foreign remittances have surpassed the set target. 

The situation has gotten much better as compared to the time when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf took hold of the country and was left with foreign reserves that could only pay six weeks of import bills, added the Senator. 

Despite the Sindh government not releasing its wheat stocks and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s staple crop being damaged, Shibli said the sugar and wheat stocks were up to the requirements. He said, however, the cotton crop target would not be achieved this year because of the damage caused by rain and floods. 

The minister said that Asad Umar also briefed on the performance of Pakistan Airlines (PIA) which has its loans and liabilities exceeding Rs400 billion. He said that the cabinet applauded the institution for earning revenue of Rs7.8 billion despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. 

Shibli said that during the pandemic, Pakistan’s economy performed better as compared to other countries whose economies fell down badly. 

He further briefed that the cabinet has approved a security plan for Thursday, for the Chehlum of Imam Hussain (AS) which would be organized and implemented by both federal and provincial governments and also by the police and the armed forces.

The information minister told that the prevailing political situation was also discussed by the cabinet. He said that the opposition was speaking the language of India, whose only aim is to add Pakistan to the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

He said that PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif could easily be manipulated by foreign powers as he has assets in foreign countries. 

Shibli said that they are not bothered by what the opposition is doing and that they will continue to work for the betterment of the country.