Federal Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh said on Sunday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s top priority is to prevent a spike in the price of essential commodities.

“The government is facing the challenge of reducing taxes on imported items,” he said while talking to media persons in Islamabad.

“When [Prime Minister] Imran Khan came to power, financial deficit stood at $20 billion,” Hafeez said adding that “external deficit has now turned into a surplus”.

The minister said, “There were no exports during the tenure of the previous government, but now, even in the times of Covie-19, the exports increased.”

Also read: Economic indicators improving despite challenges: PM Imran

Regarding the Senate elections, he said that the “polls are between the political parties… and it should not be given any other context”.

The government, he added, doubled the budget of the Ehsaas Programme to Rs200 billion.”

On Thursday, PM Imran said the country’s economic indicators had been on a positive trajectory despite challenges faced by the country, including the coronavirus pandemic.

#Live: Finance Minister @a_hafeezshaikh talking to media in Karachi https://t.co/rtfv3uwZOb
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) February 21, 2021