Tag Archives: Pakistan

Pakistan plans auction of new oil blocks amid high industry interest

ISLAMABAD: The government has planned to offer new onshore oil and gas blocks to potential bidders, a government minister said on Tuesday, hoping more security and facilities for energy firms will help increase foreign firms’ interest in the sector.
“Our government will make all-out efforts to increase exploration acreage by introducing more exploration blocks in the country,” Ghulam Sarwar Khan, minister for energy (petroleum division) said…read more

Lower oil prices bodewell for the economy but procrastination in IMF program stirs uncertainty

Consumption and import led robust economic growth in FY17 and FY18 was driven by loose monetary policy and an overvalued currency regime, which exposed Pakistan to vulnerability on the external account.

With Current Account Deficit (CAD) ballooning to $19 billion for FY18, forex reserves have eroded to a dangerously low level exacerbated by large scheduled foreign loan payments.
The precarious situation prompted the government to pursue tightening policies such as Rupee devaluation, monetary policy tightening, and levying and expanding of import duties with the aim to contain domestic consumption.
These policy measures manifested itself with monthly CAD dropping to an average $1.2 billion/month in 4-months of FY2019, compared to an average $1.6 billion/month witnessed in FY2018.
“We expect further contraction in CAD going forward as the full impact of these policy actions kicks-in. The government is working on improving the remittances quantum, growth of which slowed down in the last few years. The government has also redoubled its focus on boosting exports as further incentives have been parceled out to them such as exemption from gas and electricity tariff hikes,” Dr. Amjad Waheed CEO NBP Funds noted.
On the downside, the above policy measures will result in slowdown in economic growth to 4.4 percent for FY2019, he said.
Substantial drop in crude oil prices in the recent weeks amid supply side adjustments is a major positive for Pakistan economy as it will lower the import bill in coming quarters, if the oil prices remain on the lower side.
As per estimates, the country saves $1.0 billion/annum on every $5/barrel decrease in oil prices.
Lower oil prices are not only positive from the external account perspective, but this will also help limit the impact on inflation and interest rate.
From the economic and market perspective, entry into the IMF program, expected in January 2019, will provide much-needed confidence to investors and businesses.
“Besides providing immediate financial relief, entry into the IMF program would ameliorate the credibility of Pakistan in the eyes of global financial community, paving the way for fetching flows from multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and also facilitate access to international capital markets,” Dr. Waheed said.
Entry into an IMF program coupled with financial assistance from friendly countries will provide much-needed breathing space.
“Further, after the necessary currency adjustment and start of the IMF oversight post entry into the financing program, we expect foreign flows to resume in the stock market,” CEO NBP Funds said.

Pakistan, China agree to expand CPEC to new areas of cooperation, says Pakistan Foreign Office

Pakistan on Monday assured China that the multi-billion dollar CPEC was a “national priority” as top diplomats of the two countries agreed to further expand the developmental projects to new areas.

During the first round of political consultations between the two allies here, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua conveyed to visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou that Islamabad was committed to the successful implementation of the ongoing CPEC projects. ..read more

Pakistan living beyond its means for several years, says Fitch Solutions

KARACHI: Pakistan has been living beyond its means for several years now as evident from the widening current account and trade deficit, says the Fitch Solutions’ analysis on Pakistan’s economy.

The country’s trade deficit was at its widest reaching $37.67bn during last fiscal year, and has already crossed the $11bn-mark during the ongoing fiscal year.

But “further austerity measures will likely exacerbate the cyclical slowdown in the Pakistan economy” and the government will not be able to sustain the growth momentum with or without the “International Monetary Fund (IMF)-induced austerity”…read more

IMF puts tough conditions to bailout Pakistan

KARACHI: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to take additional tax measures for curtailing the budget deficit as well as advocated free movement of Pak Rupee, which could push one US dollar to Rs150.

IMF has asked Pakistan to let market forces decide the fate of the Pak Rupee and go for a total free-float of the exchange rate, which the finance ministry is reluctant to accept due to its adverse implications for the economy. The IMF is also demanding more autonomy for the central bank.

Finance Minister Asad Umar has said it is still in Pakistan’s interest to enter into a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize its economy, despite the agreements for financial assistance with other countries.

Pakistan’s debt level is likely to remain high in near future even if consolidation efforts go as planned, warns the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest Regional Economic Outlook.

The IMF has assessed that the FBR was going to face massive revenue shortfall, so the government will have to take additional tax measures to avoid slippages on fiscal fronts.

One of the biggest demands of the IMF is on front of jacking up the GST rate from standard rate of 17 percent to 18 percent as alone this step can fetch over Rs75 billion into the national kitty in one year.

As the five months had already passed, so its impact for the remaining period will reduce accordingly. The PTI-led government does not have any other option but to seek the IMF package to stabilize the economy on short to medium term basis.

The IMF is scheduled to conclude the ongoing talks till November 20, 2018, but there are chances that the Fund mission might increase its stay in Islamabad to finalize modalities of the bailout package.

The IMF has asked Pakistan to explore all options on direct and indirect tax sides for generating the desired revenues for fetching additional Rs175 to Rs200 billion to fill the gap. The option of raising the GST rate by one percent from 17 to 18 percent is also under consideration but the Ministry of Finance and FBR are opposing it on the basis of higher inflationary impact.

Meanwhile, the provinces have unanimously told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that they would oppose any structural change in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award. However, they assured the fund of providing Rs286 billion cash surpluses to help the Centre achieve its fiscal targets, Express Tribune reported.

In this regard, the IMF team held a meeting with the four federating units’ officials to get to know their fiscal policies under its bailout program. The provincial finance ministers and secretaries attended the meeting held on Friday. Discussions took place on the distribution of resources under the NFC award and provincial budgets.

PTCL, NDCTECH collaborate for banking cloud Setup within Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NDCTECH; an award winning partner of Temenos, world’s No.1 banking software, to create an in-country banking cloud platform by offering value added services for Temenos Software over PTCL cloud.

The partnership agreement was signed in Karachi by Adil Rashid, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL and Ammara Masood, CEO & President, NDCTECH.

Following this understanding, NDCTECH and PTCL will jointly host Temenos Software for clients wanting to use Test & Development value added services on PTCL Cloud. The companies will also embark on a joint advocating effort for the creation of a local banking cloud setup in the country for Production and DR in the future.

On the occasion, Adil Rashid, Chief Business Services Officer, PTCL, said, “Owing to the recent data leakages in the financial sector, the need for an in-country cloud based hosting solution for financial sector has increased many folds. With this agreement, PTCL & NDCTECH shall jointly help to create a safer and more secure data storage & processing environment for financial data within the country”.

This initiative will serve to reduce costs for the fin-techs; as well as create a safe and secure cloud based hosting solution for the Pakistani financial industry, previously restricted to keep transactional data on-premises only.

Temenos core banking platform has been the best-selling solution in the global market for 15 years, used by more than 700 financial institutions. Over 3,000 firms across the globe, including 41 of the top 50 banks, rely on Temenos to process the daily transactions of more than 500 million banking customers.

Ammara Masood, CEO and President, NDCTECH, said, “Our expertise across retail banking, corporate & investment banking, regulatory risk and compliance, mobile banking, channels, payments, lending and mortgages address transformational changes for our customers. PTCL and NDCTECH collaboration and our solution on Pakistan based cloud offering will enable our customers to build a bankable future.”

Cloud is vital for the public and private sectors to transform customer experience, drive business innovation and raise productivity to the next level.

Pakistan to unveil new Petroleum Policy by November end

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would announce the new Petroleum Policy in the last week of the current month after completing consultation process with the provinces, Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan informed Senate.

Winding up the debate on oil and gas price hike in the Senate, he said the incumbent government would soon offer ten new exploration blocks to national and international exploration companies through open bidding.

The government, he said, had decided to give adequate representation to provinces in Boards of Directors of 15 companies working under Ministry of Petroleum as previous government had neglected provinces. He lamented that the stone lying ceremony of Diamer-Bhasha dam had been conducted thrice in the last 14 years by three successive governments. During the last five years, the money allocated for construction of Diamer Bhasha was utilized in constructing underpasses, he said.

The Minister said Neelum Jhelum hydro power generation project was completed by spending Rs 506 billion despite hading initial cost of only Rs 84 billion. The profit making Pakistan Steel Mills had endured whooping losses of Rs 470 billion thanks to policies of PML-N government, he expressed.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the initial cost of Islamabad Airport was Rs 38 billion, but it was completed by spending over 1 trillion rupees. He told the Upper House that the profit making Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) endured Rs 158 million losses for the first time in history during PML-N’s rule. The government, he said has decreased sales tax ratio on LPG from 17 percent to 10 percent. Country’s petroleum prices are lowest in the region.

The Federal Investigation Agency and National Accountability Bureau are currently examining the LNG deal with the help of experts, he added. Refuting the Opposition’s claim that the government has burdened the poor by hiking gas prices, he said that gas prices had been increased by 10 to 15pc for the majority of consumers using 50 to 200 cubic metres of gas per month.

The increase has been made to meet the deficit facing gas supply companies such as Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and Sui Southern Gas Company, he added.

He said there was no power, energy, water crisis in the country during 1970s. Power generation agreements were inked with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in haphazard manner and on higher prices as comparing to such agreements inked by other countries. The issue of constructing new dams was politicized by vested interests, he told.

Pakistan to get $1.0 billion from Saudi Arabia in a couple of days: Finance Minister

KARACHI: Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar has said Pakistan would receive $1.0 billion from Saudi Arabia in a couple of days. Government had announced in October that Saudi Arabia had agreed to a $6.0 billion support package to bolster Pakistan’s dwindling finances following a second visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Riyadh.
The support package, as per the memorandum of understanding signed by both countries, comprises of $3.0 billion direct deposit with Pakistan as balance of payment support, while another one-year deferred payment facility of up to $3.0 billion for oil imports.
Speaking at an interactive session at Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), Asad Umar said, “Country is out of the immediate balance of payment funding crisis and is working on a clear path for recovery and that the benefit of the revised economic strategy may be visible in the next six to nine months”.

The minister also briefly shared the Holding Company model for rehabilitating the state owned enterprises. Referring to the China visit of the PM and top leadership of the country, he said, “The government is soon going to engage the private sector to leverage the benefit of China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) projects by putting up manufacturing facilities in various sectors”.
Finance Minister Mr Asad Umar was appreciative of the contribution of OICCI members whom he termed as true ambassadors of Pakistan who have talked about the opportunities in Pakistan at all international forums and have also invested heavily in the country over the years. Finance
Sharing the salient points of the government’s economic recovery strategy, Umar mentioned that the government was pursuing investment lead export oriented growth model; “All government actions in the short to medium term will be aligned to this strategy”.
Asad Umar agreed with OICCI recommendations that digitization, data analytics and data mining would be leveraged to leap frog the government efforts towards good governance and more importantly for broadening the tax base.
Finance Minister assured the OICCI members that their concerns on delayed tax refunds, higher circular debts and issues of delayed remittances would be addressed during the ongoing fiscal year.
President OICCI Irfan Wahab Khan offered the government the foreign investor’s full support in promoting economic stability and FDI growth by providing technical assistance in the form of successful strategies, which had worked internationally.
“OICCI is soon going to share a comprehensive OICCI Digital Pakistan recommendations to lead the country into an era of digital and financial inclusion and good governance”.
President OICCI also offered the assistance to the government in improving the perception and positive branding of Pakistan.
OICCI is the collective voice of all major foreign investors in Pakistan. Established over 157 years ago in 1860, the OICCI is today not only engaged in the promotion and protection of existing foreign investment in the country and to attract new foreign investors, its diversified activities contribute significantly to supporting commerce and industry across the country. The nearly 200 OICCI members, from 35 different countries, 50 of whom are associates of the 2018 Global Fortune 500 companies, have a presence in 14 sectors of the economy and contribute nearly one third of Pakistan’s total tax revenue and have assets of over $90 billion.

Pakistan to issue postal ticket to commemorate IDEAS defence exhibition

KARACHI: Government of Pakistan will issue a Rs10 postal ticket to commemorate the 10th successful edition of IDEAS defence exhibition on November 27, 2018.
Organizers of IDEAS 2018 have said that the 10th edition of the event would hold a golf tournament for the foreigners on 26th of November, a day before the main event kicks off at Expo Center.
Talking to newsmen on Tuesday, Commodore Tariq Mahmood of Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) said the golf tournament would not be only a game, it would also be networking and B2B event.
Services conference on 28th November will have chiefs of Pakistan military including army, marine and air forces.
During the exhibition, one program with the banner of “Karachi show” will be held at seaview at Nishan e Pakistan.
He said it was not just a show but nearly 25,000 people made earnings from the exhibition through one or the other way.
Zohaib Naseer, chief operating officer of Badar Expo, said approximately 500 exhibitors have confirmed their participation, around 48 countries are participating while nearly 15 country pavilions would be shown in the exhibition.
There would be 12 events inside the conference and exhibition, he said, counter terrorism show will also be held, which would be new activity after 2008.
Tariq Mehmood said that through the anti terrorism show they would show the world how Pakistan combat the terrorism in the country.

SRB restrained from recovering rupees 4,791,991

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) on Friday restrained Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) from effecting recovery of rupees 4,791, 991 from petitioner Pegasus Consultancy Private Limited.

The petitioner maintains that they are engaged in business of event management in Pakistan, UAE, London etc. The SRB has raised the demand including business transactions held in Dubai, Ms Dil Khurram Shaheen advocate, counsel for petitioner submitted adding that SRB has jurisdiction limited to Sindh province alone.

She also contended that an appeal filed by the petitioner company before Commissioner Appeals. The bench after this statement restrained the SRB from making recovery.

Pakistan annoyed over manipulation of FATF process

KARACHI: The United States has put forward a motion to place Pakistan on a global terrorist-financing watch list with an anti-money-laundering monitoring group.

Pakistan has been scrambling in recent months to avert being added to a list of countries deemed non-compliant with terrorist financing regulations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a measure that officials fear could hurt its economy.

The United States has been threatening to get tough with Islamabad over its alleged ties with Islamist militants, and last month President Donald Trump’s administration suspended aid worth about $2 billion.

Islamabad, which denies assisting militants in Afghanistan and India, has reacted angrily to U.S. threats of further punitive measures.

Pakistan stresses that it’s the biggest victim of terrorism and has been fighting terrorism without discrimination.

Pakistan has also made preparations to counter US pressure, and all the details regarding movement of foreign intelligence agencies, foreign security agencies and pilferage of US/NATO/ISAF reverse cargo containers in Pakistan have been compiled.

Pakistan however kept these details in secret, but now is the time that world should know the facts about Pakistan’s stance against terrorism and the losses suffered by the country in this war.

IC3, a US based scanning system, handles the examination and scanning of US, NATO and ISAF containers to and from Afghanistan, but the scanner always gave a clear report. Although, it was established the containers were emptied in Pakistan and goods within were pilfered.

Director General of Customs Intelligence, Customs Preventive and Directorate General of Transit Trade lodged several FIRs against the authorized agents and contractors of US/NATO/ISAF who were involved in pilferage of reverse cargo containers in Pakistan. This also increased insurgency within Pakistan.

So far Pakistan has kept silence and efficiently played its part in this war. However, after US attempted to make Pakistan responsible for the failures of US.

Pakistan will share these details with allies so that the facts could be brought before the world. It may be mentioned here that after China evinced interest in Pakistan in the pretext of One Belt One Road initiative along with losses Pakistan suffered in the US’s war against terrorism Pakistan’s foreign policy has shifted.

A meeting of FATF member states is due to take place on Monday in Paris, where the organization could adopt the motion on Pakistan. The FATF, an intergovernmental body based in Paris, sets global standards for fighting illicit finance.

On the recommendation of international community, Pakistan recently has taken numerous step including banning of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation.

Sources close to the Ministry of Defence (UK) said that if a strong resolution is adopted in the FATF meeting, Pakistan may face another strong action in another meeting of Asia Pacific Group (APG) going to be held in July this year in Kathmandu. It’s understood that strict action will be put off as Pakistan has taken strong steps against the proscribed organsiations and Pakistan has been lobbying with the member countries informing them of the steps taken.

The FATF members China, Russian and Turkey are understood to be satisfied with the steps taken by Pakistan to combat terrorism in the country.

Officials also fear it would be harder and more expensive for Pakistan to borrow money from international debt markets if it was put on the FATF monitoring list. Pakistan believes that the United States has been taking a lot of steps and making statement on behalf of India in relation to Hafiz Saeed and others. Pakistan and the United Kingdom have enjoyed good relations and continued to have close ties. Both countries work closely on security cooperation but the UK government is increasingly supporting American government on the issue of extremist groups.

Meanwhile, Pakistan blamed some of 37 countries of the FATF for political maneuvering and said their real aim was to hamper its economic progress and put it on the Grey List when they meet in Paris on February 20.

Pakistan’s Mutual Evaluation is yet to be completed, and the blame game against Islamabad has started.

Bosch Home Appliances Inaugurates first Showroom in Lahore, Pakistan

Lahore: German companies consider Pakistan a preferred destination for trade and business and Pakistani market offers immense potential of bilateral trade between two countries. These views were shared by BSH Home Appliances FZE CEO Mr. Tomas Alonso while inaugurating the newly established Bosch showroom by BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, which has established its first ever official products showroom in DHA Lahore.

The showroom, which has been established with local business partner Mega Home Appliances, was inaugurated in presence of Provincial Minister for Food Mr. Bilal Yaseen along with BSH Home Appliances FZE CEO Mr. Tomas Alonso and Mega Home Appliances CEO Adnan Shah today.

BSH Home Appliances aims to expand its sales and distribution footprint in Pakistan and working to expand its retailer/distributor network across country.

“The country is now region’s one of the emerging economies. With annual population growth of more than 2 %, Pakistan has one of the highest growth rates in Asia. These results, said Mr. Alonso, BSH Home Appliances FZECEO, who is in charge of all Middle Eastern and South Asian region.

While addressing the local media in Lahore today he said, “We are targeting to become the No. 1 home appliances supplier in Pakistan by doubling the T/O year-on-year”

Mr. Alonso said that in a country like Pakistan, which has been facing power shortage issue, it’s imperative that hundreds of millions of daily usage household appliances such as refrigerators, oven, dishwashers and washing machines etc. consume less energy to save the power and Bosch small and large home appliances are very much efficient in terms of less energy consumption undoubtedly the best choice for Pakistani households.

In a low inflation high growth economy like Pakistan, there is a growing affluent consumer base, which is forecasted to increase by around 6 % annually. Both factors are having an overall positive effect on local purchasing power.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world, making it a very attractive market indeed for the BSH Home Appliances. “On account of the growing population and a young population with the low median age of 22, we see good business opportunities in Pakistan for Bosch in the medium and long term,” said BSH Home Appliances FZE CEO Mr. Alonso.

Mr. Syed Adnan Shah, Managing Director Mega Home Appliances said that “Pakistani consumers understand the value of German Technology and I am very confident that together Bosch and Mega Home Appliances, we will make Bosch, Pakistan’s most preferred home appliances brand.” He also thanked Bosch Home Appliances Management for their trust and partnership with Mega Home Appliances in Pakistan.

The company will focus on the sale of home appliances products for growing Pakistani consumer base.  “Pakistan has a growing percentage of an affluent, dynamic and future-oriented consumer base which is improving it’s lifestyle trends and Bosch is keen to offer its world class Home Appliances to consumers in Pakistan.

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH is the largest home appliance manufacturer in Europe, and the 2nd largest worldwide. BSH’s product portfolio spans the entire spectrum of modern household appliances that includes everything from stoves, ovens, extractor hoods, dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and freezers to small appliances like vacuum cleaners, coffee machines, electric kettles and irons. This makes BSH the only full-range provider of home appliances globally.

What distinguishes Bosch home appliances from other brands is quality, durability, performance, German heritage since 1886 and continuous innovation in technology and research.  It is not coincidental that the brands advertising the launch of home appliances products in Pakistan is part of Bosch’s consistent and long-term growth strategy in South Asia. “Our customers in Pakistan will definitely benefit from our company’s innovations. Ultimately, we also contribute to improving quality of life for local people with our products and services.”

About BSH:

Founded in 1967 as a joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart) and Siemens AG (Munich), BSH has belonged exclusively to the Bosch Group since January 2015. Over its 50-year history, the company has grown from a German exporter into the world’s second-largest home appliance manufacturer. With more than 56,000 employees, BSH increased its revenue in 2016 to around 13.1 billion Euros. BSH has some 40 factories worldwide and produces the entire range of modern home appliances.

Pakistan, Turkey agree to extend cooperation in civil aviation sector

KARACHI: Pakistan and Turkey mutually agreed on extending their mutual cooperation in different arenas particularly to enhance their competitiveness in civil aviation.

It was decided in a meeting between Advisor to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan and Ambassador of Turkey in Pakistan S. Babur Girjin in Islamabad on Friday.

Besides, Secretary Aviation Division Irfan Elahi and other officials were also present on this occasion. Matters of mutual interests to strengthening the ties between both countries particularly related to aviation industry were also discussed in a meeting.

Advisor to Prime Minister highlighted the various steps underway for ongoing advancement of National Airline specifically flights safety, punctuality, ground handling, maintenance and induction of latest technology as well for the promotion of Aviation.

Ambassador of Turkey highly appreciated all endeavors taken by the incumbent Government and Advisor to Prime Minister in this regard.

Advisor to PM Sardar Mehtab Ahmad acknowledged the significant and protagonist contribution of Turkey in the region under the leadership of Tayyip Erdogan and expressed that being functioning democracies, Pakistan and Turkey are important icons of Muslim community and they owe important geographical positions in the region.

Advisor also shared that both countries are bound with fraternal ties which should be cultivated constantly in order to promote mutual interests. He also added that both countries always strived to ripen mutual understanding not only with their neighborhood countries but also with Islamic Ummah.

Advisor to Prime Minister Sardar Mehtab Ahmad further shared that Pakistan always wants to establish a close relations with Turkey by removing all gaps and barriers as per the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which are poised to become stronger in coming years.
In the meeting, it was mutually decided that In order to follow a fast pace sustainable development model and to embark on solid infrastructure of aviation sector, both counties should exchange the skills and technology to upgrade the competiveness Continue reading “Pakistan, Turkey agree to extend cooperation in civil aviation sector” »

Govt will make Pakistan energy self-sufficient country by 2018: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the government will make Pakistan energy self-sufficient country by 2018.

He was addressing the concluding ceremony of China Pakistan Economic Corridor Conference and Expo in Islamabad this evening.

He said that the government has started a number of power projects across the country utilizing all resources including hydel, coal and wind to cater the energy needs. He said the CPEC energy projects will boost this initiative and Pakistan will be able to able to export electricity to the neighbouring countries.

The Finance Minister said that Pakistan is an attractive country for investment. He said Pakistan has great potential of growth and excellent future. He said during the last three years great achievements have been made in the economy of the country.

He said Pakistan will jump to 18th from 40th biggest economy of the world by 2050. He said Pakistan’s Stock Exchange is declared as Asian Tiger stock market of the region. He said the foreign exchange reserves are highest in the history of the country.

Ishaq Dar said we have focused on the education and social services sector development. He said the CPEC has great contribution in the development of the country. He said along with CPEC the government is also focusing on other mega projects like TAPI and CASA-1000.

The Finance Minister said the government is also focusing on the development of water reservoirs to meet the future water demands of the country besides generating electricity.

He said negotiation is also underway for connectivity of Afghanistan with CPEC. He said the CPEC will act as a game changer in the region.

He said when the government took over; it has to address four-Es including energy, economy, education and extremism. He said that due to the government’s prudent policies all these areas have been addressed considerably.

The Finance Minister said that due to improving law and order situation in the country, highest number of tourist are visiting Pakistan for the last two years. He said that situation will improve further in future.