Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said economy was now moving forward on the right path after gaining stability due to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s prudent and timely policies. He expressed these views while addressing the meeting of business community organized by Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) here on Saturday. The government was confident to surpass the growth target set for the current fiscal year the country was moving fast towards the right path on the internal and external fronts, he added. The government had to take tough decisions to restore the economy affected by coronavirus pandemic for benefiting common people by adopting prudent measures, he added.The government took austerity measures and reduced its expenditures, besides freezing expenditures of military and pay of high officials, he added. Besides freezing all expenditures, no new tax was imposed in the budget, he said adding, no supplementary grants were approved.The expenditures of Prime Minister House were decreased by 35 per cent, while expenditures of President House were decreased by 30 per cent, the advisor said. The government has repaid five thousand billion rupees debt during the last two years, he informed.When Covid-19 hit the whole world, there were two immediate challenges faced by the country. The first challenge was to save common people from its economic effects and other to protect businesses, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said. The government announced Rs1240 billion relief package, with different components, the biggest one to transfer cash to common and vulnerable people, it was historic, he said adding, Rs 250 billion were disbursed among 16 million people without any discrimination and irrespective of geographic or political affiliation.In addition to this, the government ensured liquidity to the business community and helped them in many ways by offering soft loans, delaying their due loans, paying utility bills of Small and Medium Enterprises.Dr Shaikh said there had been growth in exports, reduction in the current account deficit and stable foreign exchange reserves.The stock market had also been stable. At the same time, however, the overall revenue collection had also increased, he added.The private sector, vulnerable segments of society, and ignored regions of the country were given special attention in the budget.Rs192 billion were provided for the development of FATA areas and subsidy was given on electricity, gas and on tube-well, he said.“When I was privatisation minister back in 2006, the then government had privatised 34 SOEs”, he said adding, since then no SOE was privatized.The adviser said, the neutral institutions of the world have been appreciative of the government policies.The government has a clear policy that all tax refunds, whether fresh or old, should be paid back without any excuse, Dr. Shaikh said.He said efforts are being made to provide investment friendly atmosphere in the country. Social protection top priority: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar Saturday said the social protection of masses was the top priority of the government and the multi-billion Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme was launched to provide financial assistance to the deserving people.During her visit to Ehsaas Emergency Cash Payment Point setup here at Aligarh School, she said that first round of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme would be completed on September 15.Those, who got registered with the programme but did not received their cash due to biometric verification issue, should contact the relevant bank branches till September 30 to get their money, she advised.Dr Sania said that in case of those who had been died after getting registered with the programme, the heirs of the deceased should make their death certificates from the respective union councils and get it registered in the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) then send the same to the office of Ehsaas Programme till September 30.On this occasion, the special assistant met with the beneficiaries of the programme and inquired about the facilities being provided at the centre, over which they expressed satisfaction over the process of cash payment.It worth mentioning here that about Rs3.91 billion has been disbursed among 82,400 needy people so far at 25 different centres setup in the district under the programme. While Rs390 million were disbursed among 32,000 deserving people at this centre so far.