Home General Khan hails current account surplus for 5th straight month

Khan hails current account surplus for 5th straight month

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan has made a remarkable economic turnaround despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, as the country posted a current account surplus of $447 million in November.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the Prime Minister wrote: “MashaAllah, despite COVID-19, great news on economy – remarkable turnaround. Current account surplus again in Nov: $447 mn.”
For the same period last year, the country faced a deficit of $1.7 billion. “State Bank of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have risen to about $13 billion – highest in three years,” he added.
This is the fifth consecutive month the country has seen a current account surplus. The central bank said in a tweet that the current account surplus rose by $447 million against a deficit of $326 million in November last year.
The central bank said, “In contrast to the previous five years, current account has been in surplus throughout the current fiscal year due to an improved trade balance and a sustained increase in remittances.”
“In November 2020, both exports and imports picked up reflecting recovery in external demand and domestic economic activity,” the SBP explained.
“This turnaround in the current account, together with improvement in financial inflows, raised SBP’s foreign exchange reserves by around $1 billion in November 2020. At $13.1 billion, they are now at their highest level in 3 years.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned targets to various ministries to improve governance and prioritise projects, especially rationalising the power sector and subsidies, encouraging wealth creation, and enhancing exports.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the signing ceremony of agreements between the Prime Minister and federal ministries to evaluate performance of various departments and sectors in achieving targets.
He said that prioritised projects will vigorously be followed and evaluated to ensure performance. He said now it is time to perform and every ministry has to achieve its targets.
Imran Khan said that reforming the power sector is the biggest challenge to provide affordable electricity to consumers. He said the government is providing subsidies of billions of rupees, but it is being used both by the poor and the rich. He said there is a need to rationalise provision of subsidies to the targeted populace and deserving people as well as for the development of backward areas.
The Prime Minister stressed the need for enhancing exports and controlling inflation in the country. He said that the growing bill of pensions is also one of the biggest challenges the country is facing. He directed to formulate a comprehensive plan to meet this challenge.
Imran Khan said that concentration will be further made on the agriculture sector to increase productivity and job opportunities for the youth. He said the government is seeking China’s cooperation in the agriculture sector under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Talking about problems emerging after transfer of powers and shifting of various subjects to provinces under 18th Amendment, Imran Khan said we need to review the system for better performance.
He questioned what the federal government can do if a province does not release wheat well in time, creating difference in prices of the commodity. He said in such a situation blame is shifted to the centre.
Similarly, the ministry of environment has been devolved to provinces and the centre cannot formulate a uniform policy. He said this subject should also be kept with the federal government. He said, “We will have to work on all these distortions.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the establishment of a Drone Regulatory Authority for effective use of remote-controlled surveillance technology in various fields.
The decision was taken at a high-level briefing in Islamabad on Tuesday by Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain to the Prime Minister regarding formulation of drone policy. The Prime Minister was given a detailed briefing on the peaceful and research-based use of drone technology in various fields.
The Prime Minister said that drone technology could be used as an effective tool for agriculture, urban planning, security and law and order. He directed to form a committee to devise a legislative and regulatory authority in this regard. The committee will submit the draft Drone Regulatory Authority Act to the Prime Minister within a month.
Taking to Twitter, Fawad said the new policy will allow drone production. “Drone manufacturing industry will get a huge boost,” he said. “Import of sophisticated drones will also be allowed.” – TLTP