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November 14, 2019

Govt now focusing on job creation, investment: Imran

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November 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday after achieving economic stability — being reflected by improvement in current account deficit, appreciation of rupee as well as positive market sentiments — the government was now focusing on job creation and exports augmentation by encouraging foreign investments.

He expressed these views while addressing a Sino-Pak tyre manufacturing joint venture’s tripartite signing ceremony between Ms MSD Tire and Rubber Company, Ms Doublestar China and Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service Limited at the PM Office here.

The Prime Minister congratulated his economic team for putting the country’s economy on the path of stabilisation. He said the stabilisation of economy was evident from the fact that the current account deficit had improved, rupee had gained its value against dollar over the last three months, and stock market was showing positive sentiments.

The Prime Minister mentioned a recent World Bank report that extended 28 points improvement in terms of ease of doing business (EODB), saying the heads of International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank had also acknowledged stabilisation of economy in the country.

“Now the government’s focus is on creation of job opportunities for youth and encouraging investment so as to achieve an enhanced and more than projected economic growth rate.” In this respect, Khan said the government was also offering incentives to various sectors, including the construction sector, besides working on ease of doing business for investors.

Welcoming the signing of Pakistan-China joint venture project, the Prime Minister said the manufacturing of tyres in Pakistan would not only create import substitution but would also enhance exports of industrial goods as well as further improving current account deficit.

“The improvement in current account deficit would in turn help appreciate the value of rupee and check inflation through decrease in prices of petroleum products, utilities and transportation,” he added.

The Prime Minister said with the blessings of Allah Almighty, the country had been put on the right direction and efforts were afoot to create job opportunities and attracting foreign investment through ease of doing business.

He said with the strengthened Pak-China relations where the Chinese leadership — particularly President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang – had been encouraging the Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan, such joint ventures like in tyre manufacturing would further push economic growth in the country. China’s Belt and Road Initiative was a great opportunity for Pakistan to achieve economic development and progress, he added.

Separately, addressing a gathering of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Prime Minister Khan urged the FBR officials to devise reforms which could restore people’s confidence in the tax machinery, besides enhancing their performance coupled with introducing easy tax payment system.

He assured the FBR officials that they would be fully taken on board on tax reforms as their role had been crucial in the country’s economic stability. He said Pakistan had been at the crossroads of history and his government was committed to bringing reforms in the revenue and tax systems which had already been started. He asked the FBR authorities to give their input and feedback on tax collection.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Adviser on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and senior officials were also present during the interaction.

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