KARACHI: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday a major portion of the legislation by the government belonged to the capital market. Addressing corporate leaders gathered at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) for an awards ceremony, Mr Dar said a `very important` Companies Law was in the pipeline. This law has been revised after 1984 to give a boost to the capital market, he said.

During the last one and a quarter years, various bills about the capital market have been passed. Three more laws are in the process. After 1984, a Companies Law is coming soon. We are working on it for the last one year,` he said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave awards to the top 25 companies of the PSX for their performance in the capital market in 2015-16 during the ceremony called `Recognising Corporate Leaders Who are Contributing Towards Economic Growth of the Country.

Besides business leaders, Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat U1 Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, PSX Chairman Muneer Kamal, PSX Managing Director NadeemNagviandSecuritiesand Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi were also present.

The finance minister appreciated the rapid growth of the capital market after the demutualisation/ merger of the three stock exchanges. The PSX is performing well and has won the recognition as one of the top 10 stock markets of the world, he said. Mr Dar said the stock exchange had a direct link to economic stability of any country. `Many things had improved over the last one andahalf yearsandPakistan has now been declared as a stable economy,` he said.

He listed achievements of the government under the leadership of the prime minister in economic and social sectors. Upon coming into power three years back, the main three challenges to the PML-N government were the revival of the economy, addressing the energy crisis and combating terrorism, he said. The economy has been revived and placed on the right track, the energy shortage has been bridged significantly and the issue would be fully addressed by 2018, he said.

Mr Dar highlighted that power projects of 25,000MW are in progress and 15,000MW will be added to the national gird by 2018. He noted that terrorism has almost been wiped off from the country.

He expressed satisfaction over 4.7 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) while noting that the growth target for 2018 is 7pc. A leader always gives vision. So did Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,` he said.

The finance minister promised that the government will focus on achieving fast economic growth in the remaining two years of its tenure.-APP Our Equities Correspondent adds: As the media was kept off the ceremony, reports gleaned from stock brokers who attended the ceremony pointed out that the prime minister expressed pleasure at the growth of the stock market in the last couple of years.

In a lighter vein, he said: `Whenever I visit the stock market, it goes up. Or when the stock market goes up, I am a visitor here. Mr Dar said the government will soon launch a microfinance bank and list it on the stock exchange. He also stated that maximum legislation was done in the last year and a half relating to the corporate sector. The PSX chairman informed the guests about the encouraging response to the upcoming sale of 40pc strategic shares of the stock exchange.