Govt taking rational decisions, PM assures IMF

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THE NATION, Islamabad, 12th SEPTEMBER 2013:- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that his government is not letting itself influenced by damaging political pressures on economic and other major fronts.
Talking to a delegation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday, he said the government is tackling all vital issues of the country with determination and in a rational way.
The delegation was led by Masood Ahmed, Director of IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, and Mission Chief Jeffery Franks. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Secretary Waqar Masood were also present in the meeting.
The prime minister said Pakistan recognises its responsibilities towards international organisations and there exists an understanding about each other’s mandates.
He said competent team was working day and night to overcome energy crisis, in particular, and expressed confidence that foreign exchange reserves of the country would improve as a result of the investor friendly environment.
The delegation congratulated the PM for smooth democratic transition and said they were impressed by his economic vision. IMF representatives said the present government has a coherent plan and clarity of purpose for economic revival and there exists a capacity to implement new government’s reform agenda.
Separately, Prime Minister Nawaz meet with a Turkish Housing Authority delegation led by Environment and Urbanisation Minister Erdogan Bayraktar. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Minister of State for Housing Usman Ibrahim and Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi also attended the meeting.
The prime minister told the delegation that his government has identified housing as a priority area and is therefore planning to provide 500,000 housing units to the people in next five years. He recalled that ‘Mera Ghar’ scheme introduced in 1997 by his previous stint in power was also a move to provide this basic necessity to lower and lower middle class families.
The premier expressed the confidence to take the bilateral relations with Turkey to new heights and work for promoting and strengthening the economic and trade relations. He said his government would benefit from Turkey’s mass housing programme to provide low-cost housing to the poor.
The Turkish delegation informed that Turkey has devised a revenue sharing model according to which 15 per cent of their housing stock is diverted towards revenue generation and the remaining 85 per cent towards ‘Social Housing’. Under this scheme, government provides land and flexible payment schedule to the people.
Prime Minister Nawaz said his government would study this financial model and he would personally visit the sites during his forthcoming visit to Turkey. He thanked the Turkish team and said that he is looking forward to his upcoming visit to Turkey which would further strengthen Pak-Turkey bilateral relations.

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