All parties should develop consensus on Economic Roadmap: Rana Afzal

ISLAMABAD: Minister of the State for Finance and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan has stressed that all political parties should develop consensus on the economic roadmap to make Pakistan a strong economy.

He was addressing as the chief guest at a public-private dialogue on “Charter of Economy and Economic Agenda for Elections 2018” organised by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) here on Monday.

Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said charter of economy was absolutely necessary for achieving better economic growth and all political parties should rise above their political interests and develop consensus on the economic roadmap and national economic agenda to put Pakistan on the path of sustainable economic growth.

He said the current government might not have performed outstandingly, but it saved the economy from bankruptcy and has brought improvement in many areas. He said Pakistan needed to promote economies of scale and ensure continuity of systems and policies for better economic growth.

Finance minister said the current government differentiated between the filers and non-filers through tax measures. He said there was nothing secret in CPEC and Phase-I of CPEC of Early Harvest Projects was heading towards successful completion. He said private sector businesses should play a more effective role in the capital market for a capital generation.

Rana Afzal said private sector should channelise foreign remittances in productive sectors. He appreciated ICCI initiative for organising public-private dialogue on the charter of economy and said that such dialogues should be held regularly bring public-private sectors on one platform and develop consensus on economic policies.

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Jamaat-e-Islami Deputy Ameer Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, MNAs Asad Umar and Abdul Rashid Godil, Anwar Saifullah, ABAD Chairman Arif Jeewa, Rawalpindi Chamber President Zahid Latif Khan, Haripur Chamber President Haji Manzoor Elahi, Islamabad Women Chamber Anila Fatima, Jhelum Chamber President Farhan Razzaq Dar, Gujrat Chamber vice president and representatives of various other Chambers of Commerce and Industry also spoke at the occasion and stressed that government should bring drastic reforms in taxation system to make it simplified and easy for compliance for a common taxpayer.

They emphasised that tax rates should be reduced to single digit level which would lead to improved tax revenues. They further said the government should focus on improving Pakistan’s competitiveness to promote trade and exports. They said level playing field should be provided to Chinese and local investors in CPEC and local industry should not get affected by this project.

They said CPEC should promote industrialisation in Pakistan instead of developing it as a trading and consumers market. They said more dams should be built to produce cheap energy and ensure food security of the country.

SDPI Deputy Executive Director Dr Waqar Ahmed gave a detailed presentation on the key features of Charter of Economy and said that the current and future governments in Pakistan should carefully evaluate how they could help new enterprises and SMEs through a reduction in the cost of energy, tax compliance and labour. He said clear interventions should be devised by Ministry of Finance and Federal Board of Revenue for improved competitiveness of private enterprises.

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The fiscal packages announced for export-oriented sectors would only deliver if inter-ministerial coordination improved and there was a strong dialogue between federal and provincial governments on industrial productivity. He said the private sector would require government’s support in reducing the cost of product certifications and connecting with Chinese industrial hubs. He added that continuous efforts were required to improve logistics performance including time and cost of port processing, customs clearance and transportation.


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