The federal ministers of the caretaker government convened a press conference in Islamabad to brief reporters about the recent Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) meeting.
During this press conference, Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, along with Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar, Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz, and Power Minister Mohammad Ali, emphasized a shift in their communication strategy. Instead of solely relying on press releases, federal ministers will regularly hold press conferences to provide in-depth insights into SIFC meeting discussions.
Solangi highlighted that today’s SIFC meeting primarily focused on critical issues such as reducing government expenditure, addressing the circular debt, eliminating barriers to foreign investment, and improving the performance of state-owned enterprises.
Significantly, a substantial portion of today’s discussions was dedicated to addressing the issue of smuggling within the country, encompassing finished products, petroleum goods, and foreign exchange, as highlighted by Solangi.
Furthermore, the meeting conducted an in-depth examination of the “misuse” of international agreements to which the country is a signatory, and measures to counteract such misuse were thoroughly deliberated.
Shifting to her ministry, Akhtar emphasized that a pivotal decision had been made during the meeting. They would adopt a “whole-of-government” approach to unite the various divisions within the finance ministry, fostering a holistic and consistent teamwork approach.
She stressed the importance of this change, noting that the different segments responsible for managing the economy would now collaborate closely. Akhtar also mentioned the institutionalization of cabinet subcommittees, facilitating robust intergovernmental discussions.
The central focus of our efforts is to establish a clear roadmap to strengthen the country’s macroeconomic management. This roadmap emphasizes fiscal stability and close coordination with monetary policies, in addition to external policy considerations,” stated Akhtar.
Furthermore, she emphasized the government’s determination to revitalize the economy and initiate the process of identifying the essential steps required to “jumpstart” it.
In line with these objectives, the interim government is actively working on enhancing various aspects of the social safety net as part of a structural adjustment reform program.
Akhtar stressed that financial inclusion is the most crucial and far-reaching dimension within the social safety net framework. Consequently, there is a concerted effort to expedite initiatives aimed at providing opportunities for financial empowerment to citizens, the agriculture sector, and small and medium enterprises.