Pakistan News

Pakistan suffered loss of $188bn during war on terror, says Dar

Pakistan suffered loss of $188bn during war on terror, says Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday said that Pakistan has lost at least US$118 billion during the ongoing war on terror.

Addressing a post-budget press conference, the minister maintained that despite constraints the "defence allocations have been increased".

Zarb-i-Azb is entering its final round and its successful conclusion would help attract direct foreign investment.

Shedding light upon the 'salient features' of the budget, the minister said that significant reduction in the prices of fertilisers, decreasing Rs400 per bag, and the Rs300 reduction on DAP bags was aimed at benefiting the farmer and agricultural sector at large.

About his plan to boost the agricultural sector, Dar reminded audience that the government has withdrawn 7 per cent duty on pesticides while off-peak rate of electricity for agricultural tube wells has been lowered from Rs8.85 a unit to Rs5.35.

Dar maintained that the government will spend Rs57 billion to provide relief to government employees through increase in their salaries and pension, out of which, Rs12billion will be spent on welfare of low grade employees.

The finance minister said the government kept prices of petroleum products unchanged for the current month to provide relief to people during Ramazan.

About the proposed Karachi-Lahore motorway, he said that it was a missing link in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's vision, adding that the Rs300 billion project is made a part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the budget reflected PML-N's vision for a prosperous Pakistan, adding that the government is working tirelessly to improve the lives of Pakistani citizens, read a statement issued by PM House.

Complimenting Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Nawaz said the minister and his team deserved the appreciation for presenting a pro-growth budget for fiscal year 2016-17.

“We inherited hyper-inflation and financial indiscipline of the highest degree, making it difficult for the working class from living lives of dignity, but turned things around to cut our deficit by half, grow the GDP at a 4.7% per-annum rate, improve our balance of trade, bring inflation down to a ten-year low and bring tax collection up to historic levels,” the premier was quoted as saying.

“We have created new subsidies and public investment in agriculture to help our agro-economy and the millions of Pakistanis who depend upon its success for a living,” read the statement.

The incumbent government will not only 'replicate its success' but one-up it in the next financial year, it added.

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