Atta Tarar terms economy, SIFC lifeline & redline; sees great investment in days ahead.

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ISLAMABAD, Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National Heritage and Culture Attaullah Tarar on Friday pointed out that the economy and Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) were the lifeline and redline, expressing the optimism that development process would definitely move forward in the country with great investment days ahead.

“Surely, the economy is our lifeline and redline, which is linked with the jobs of millions of people,” he said, adding curtailing inflation, ensuring bright future for the youth, and enhancing exports and foreign reserves were the prime objectives of the government’s policies.

“These are our redlines which some disgruntled elements are trying to violate and trespass and they are surely doomed to fail,” the minister said while addressing a press conference flanked by Federal Minister for Commerce Jam Kamal.

Atta Tarar said that the efforts led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to woo investors were bringing positive results with the clear signs of economic stabilization.

Steps were underway to create an enabling environment for the foreign investors, he added.

Unfortunately, he said, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership was engaged in such steps which were against directly inimical to the national interests, thus misleading the nation at the critical juncture.

“Don’t be mistaken, the foreign investment will definitely come to the country and we will take all steps to ensure the welfare of the people,” he said.

Regrettably, they were the same people who had made a botched attempt in the past to make the GSP Plus status of Pakistan controversial and now were resorting to a malicious campaign against the crucial platform of SIFC, the government and the armed forces just to hamper the process of national progress and development.

They intentionally targeted the SIFC on social media on the day the UAE made a pledge of $10 billion investment in Pakistan, he added.

“It is okay if they just target me or criticize my political party; but they are hell bent on sabotaging the economy, and the nation is witnessing and is fully vigilant to their misadventures.”

The minister said there was no precedent, till date, that a province presented a budget before the federal one. Normally, the Federal Government had to give budget estimates about receivables with allocating their specific percentages for the provinces, he added.

He regretted that the move might mislead the people while assuming that they would get 14 per cent of the receivables from the Federal Government.

“Is there any law in the country; any constitution or a system? How can they estimate the federal budget and declare 14 per cent (receivables) by themselves?” he questioned.

Atta Tarar said the opponents even did not fathom the exact meaning of the SIFC, which was, in fact, the lifeline of the country.

The minister said three chief ministers were striving hard for the welfare of the people, but unfortunately one was bent upon creating chaos and anarchy.

He expressed the hope that the SIFC would bring foreign direct investment in the country.

The minister said the Federal Government was committed to ensuring the progress and development of the country. “We are ready to sit and work together with all provinces.”

He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to the United Arab Emirates ( UAE)  was very the historic one as the affection demonstrated by UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed was unprecedented. 

The UAE rulers were cognizant of the fact the current leadership of Pakistan was fully capable to deliver for the nation, he added.

The minister reiterated that the SIFC was on the forefront and the world was also witnessing seriousness on the foreign policy issues.

The United Arab Emirates, he said, had allocated $10 billion for investment in Pakistan which was a landmark achievement of both the incumbent government and the SIFC.

The UAE’s official news agency had also formally reported about the $10 billion investment initiative, he added.

The minister said that it seemed that the political opponents were upset due to such mega initiatives on the economic and diplomatic fronts.The successful foreign visits and positive response from the host countries was a ‘nightmare’ for the opponents, he added.

He said that before the setting up of the SIFC, investors had to visit multiple ministries and divisions as no one-window operation was available.

Atta Tarar said PM Shehbaz during all his foreign visits had clearly indicated that Pakistan would welcome investment and not aid or loans.The international community believed that the country had great potential, immense capabilities and natural resources.

“Pakistan has 68 per cent youth bulge, natural resources and skilled human resource.”

The minister said that during an information technology conference on Thursday, many agreements were signed between Pakistani and UAE companies. It was an era of collaboration with the private sectors as many
advanced nations had made progress through that mode of investment.

The current leadership always pleaded for investment and trade during their visits abroad, he added.

Atta Tarar said about one and a half years ago the dollar rate was fluctuating and exporters were facing great difficulties.

He said that talks with the friendly countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE had resulted in multiple investment agreements. Similarly the late Iranian president during his visit to Pakistan had also hinted at enhancing bilateral trade and investment with Pakistan.

PM Shehbaz, the SIFC  and Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Muneer had played an important role in saving the country from default, besides taking steps to redress the economic woes, he added.

He said according to the State Bank of Pakistan, exports were increasing which was a good sign.

To a question, he said the high-level Saudi delegation during its recent visit was impressed by extensive briefings on investment opportunities.