Pakistan’s economy is recovering, with revenue collection above 40% last year, said Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin in a meeting on Friday. The finance minister’s remarks came during his visit to the Pakistan Stock Exchange where he held talks with the PSX managing director and other stakeholders on matters related to the capital market and its development.

Talking about the overall economy, he said the government planned to consolidate the industry through CRA to create scale. “We are working on reforming the SOEs and those SOEs which have sufficient cash available will be encouraged to pay dividends and that will help increase value of the PSX.” He told the participants that the government was focusing on IT and software exports and encouraging start-ups. He elaborated that the finance ministry was encouraging banks and DFIs to work together with capital market entities.

“I am extremely happy with the progress made by the PSX,” Tarin added. The finance minister agreed to review the proposals and recommendations of the PSX and expressed his willingness to expedite PSX’s tax refunds, reinstate tax rebate for companies upon listing, support SME growth through listing and fund capital market development. He assured businessmen that he would continue visiting the PSX on a quarterly basis to evaluate the development and progress of capital market and follow through for successful implementation of measures.

Speaking on the occasion, PSX Director You Hang, who represented a Chinese consortium, stated, “The Chinese consortium strongly believes that Pakistan, as a country and an economy, has great potential and we are committed to playing our part in helping realise that potential.” In the meeting, PSX Chairperson Shamshad Akhtar apprised the finance minister of the recent progress made by the PSX. With respect to the development of the capital market, she put forward recommendations and tabled matters which needed attention and focus of the finance ministry to make the capital market synchronised and better integrated with the financial market.

The PSX chairperson outlined the need for government support in several areas such as empowering the PSX to play a role in giving flexibility in revenue raising, forming a large enough Centralised Customer Protection Fund (CCPF) and encouraging commercial infrastructure to leverage capital markets for both equity and debt retirement.