The increasing prices of amenities such as electricity and gas will not affect the poor, says Finance Adviser Hafeez Shaikh.
“If the price of electricity increases, then it won’t affect the people who use less than 300 units,” said Shaikh while speaking to the media after a meeting with Karachi’s business community on Thursday.
The social safety net will be increased to Rs180 billion from Rs100 billion, he said. The budget for the development programmes has been increased too for job creation, he added.
He said that the government has even allowed the people to whiten their black money for revenue generation. A ‘Benami law’ has been passed. If an asset has not been declared, then it can be confiscated and the person can go to jail, he said. Under the Benami Law, the property will be confiscated if not declared, he said.
“If you have cash, then declare it and you can whiten it,” he remarked. “If you have dollars abroad, then bring them into the country and declare them. If you have money abroad and you don’t want to bring it to Pakistan then you will have to give 6% to the government,” Shaikh said. The scheme is available for all Pakistanis, except public officer holders.
He remarked that Pakistan’s economy was in a tough spot when the PTI government took over. “Our trade deficit was very high, our foreign reserves were depleting and we had taken many loans,” he said.