Govt striving to increase foreign reserves to $21b: Ishaq Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said the government is making efforts to further increase foreign exchange reserves of the country to $21 billion within a few months.


He was addressing a function in connection with signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pakistan Baitul Mal and Universal Service Fund in Islamabad on Friday.


He said the government is working on electricity projects totalling 25,000 megawatts, of which 11,000MWwould be added to the national grid in their tenure.


The finance minister said the government has increased the budget for Baitul Mal by 100% for the welfare of poor people.


Ishaq Dar said the government is trying to improve lives of those who live below the poverty line, adding that one million jobs would be created next year in the information and communication technologies sector.


Information Technology Minister Anusha Rehman on the occasion said that the project is a step to empower women, adding that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the country is heading towards socio-economic progress.


Meanwhile, a high level meeting chaired by the finance minister on Friday reviewed the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (P&NR) for ensuring sufficient gas supply for industrial and domestic sectors on a continued basis.


Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also present on the occasion, said a statement issued by Ministry of Finance.


The P&NR officials briefed the meeting regarding the ongoing gas and petroleum exploration projects in the country as well as the progress of various gas import projects.


The finance minister emphasised that the government was fully focused on economic growth and it was therefore imperative that sufficient energy supplies are available to the industrial, commercial and domestic consumers on a continued basis.


He stressed on the need for removing bottlenecks for smooth flow of energy supplies.


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