Economic team working tirelessly in pursuit of a sustainable economy: Sheikh

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on economy and finance, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said on Wednesday the economic team tasked with bringing the country out of the despair of the financial crisis is working tirelessly and relentlessly for the pursuit of a sustainable and viable economy for Pakistan.

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Addressing a press conference here at the federal capital, PM’s financial adviser said that the current fiscal budget of the government has raised the previous budgetary expenditure for the marginalised portion of the populace by 100 per cent.

The government had been successful in bringing down the imports along with reducing the current account deficit, said Sheikh.

The private sector had a huge role to play in the current work being done to rekindle the dwindling economic state of the country, he said.

Answering a question regarding the controversial Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC), Sheikh said that it was better if the matter was left up to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran Khan withdrew the Ordinance related to the amnesty in GIDC, according to a statement released from the PM’s Office.

The statement read that the premier made the move in the interest of transparency and good governance.

The premier has also directed the Attorney General to move an application for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court, so the matter is decided according to the law and Constitution.

It is pertinent to mention that the total amount in limbo due to GIDC litigation is about Rs417 billion, from January 2012 until Dec 2018.

“An Ordinance was issued with a view to recover fifty percent of the stuck revenue by way of an out of Court settlement after consultation with the industry,” read the statement about the GIDC Ordinance which caused controversy.

In the same statement, the PM also cautioned the nation that the decision could come either in favour or against it.

The GIDC was imposed as a levy by the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) government in 2011 on gas consumers in the industrial sector. The money generated was to be used for the construction of infrastructure projects such as the Iran-Pakistan pipeline, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline and other the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects.

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