KARACHI: Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Wednesday emphasized the active role of traders and business community for economic progress in the country.

He said they should join hands with the government to promote tax culture which was necessary for revenue generation. This in turn, he said, would facilitate the government in enhancing allocations for development activities.

The Minister stated this while meeting with a delegation of the FPCCI and bankers at Karachi. The Minister also stressed the role of Chambers of Commerce and Industry to act as a bridge between the government and the traders for active coordination aimed at augmenting economic development in the country.

The Minister said that the overall improvement in the security situation in the country and growing economic activities had been well received by potential foreign investors. The international rating agencies had given positive ratings to Pakistan and now it was time to consolidate our economic gains.

 The Minister on this occasion referred to the major economic indicators in the current fiscal year which, he said, bore testimony to the economic stability achieved under the present government. He said that in the first four months of the current fiscal year, revenue generation stood at Rs. 821.2 billion - a growth of 13.9% compared to the corresponding period in the last year. Similarly, remittances in the same period had shown a growth of 5.21% and stood at US$ 6.506 billion in the July-October period.

Foreign Direct Investment, which was US$ 200.7 million in July-Oct 2014-15, now stands at US$ 216.2 million in July-Oct this fiscal year, showing an enhancement of 7.7%. Inflation in October 2015-16 was recorded at 1.6% compared with 5.8% in the same month last year, the Minister added.

 The Minister said that the remarkable economic performance had been achieved despite very difficult first few months in office. He appreciated the business community for their sincere cooperation with the government and assured that every effort would be made to provide credit to SMEs. He also said that he had desired that the banks introduce Islamic products that could help increase banking activities.

Chairman FPCCI Mian Idrees on this occasion appreciated efforts of the government in achieving record level of forex reserves and said that there was steady increase in country’s exports which was helping strengthen the economy.