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January 28, 2019

Govt to announce medium-term economic framework next week

Islamabad

January 28, 2019

Islamabad : Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar has termed the economic reform package as “neutral budget in terms of fiscal and monetary measures to revive and facilitate investments and growth.”

Hammad Azhar was speaking at a public seminar on “Economic reforms: way forward” organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

Hammad said that his government will announce a medium-term economic framework next week where further supply-side measures will be taken to further boost exports and investments. Additionally, he said, the government is moving towards direct taxation regime while gradually curtailing the indirect taxation. He said that our economy is consumption-based where our fiscal and monitory policies failed to revive growth and facilitate investments in the country in the last ten years. He said that the government had taken tough measures will result in the stabilisation of the economy by boosting the supply side and enhancing production and exports to its true potential. The Minister said that the government proposed in this Economic Reform Package a simplified and friendly tax regime to ensure ease in doing businesses. Replying a question, he said that his government neither planning nor in favour of any amnesty tax regime so far.

Haroon Sharif, Chairperson, Board of Investment, said that all foreign state visits of Prime Minister were fundamentally to reach out to investors and investments to get economy out of crisis. He said that at BoI, our objectives are 4-fold: increasing productivity, technology transfer, facilitate investments that support the export sector and job creation. He said that Phase 1 of CPEC was mature and in second phase we have five concrete proposals from China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Korea in the sectors of oil industry, renewable energy, hospitality and tourism. The feedback that we receive from the investors and business community was on taxation structure which is repressive, inconsistency in policies and lack of contract enforcement capacity,” he said adding that with the help of technology, the government reduced taxes to 16 from 47 types which is a significant improvement while the government intended to reduce these taxes further to single tax in next one year. He said that these corrective measures will set the direction of the economy and build confidence among investors.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, said that Economic Reform Package of the government was an attempt to improve the cost and ease of doing businesses. He said that sometimes governments ought to take unpopular corrective measures to get the economy out of the crisis. This is for the first time that any government is trying to engage the Gulf states in an institutional manner which is a positive step forward towards improved ties with Gulf region’s states, he concluded.

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