Businessmen expect austerity drive to improve economic health

SAARC CCI asks new premier to promote intra-regional trade

APP August 21, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The business community hailed on Monday the economic revival plan announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his maiden televised address to the nation.

The business community welcomed the prime minister’s vision to pull the country out of the debt trap by introducing fundamental economic reforms and homegrown economic policies to steer development.

SAARC CCI official hails Imran Khan’s speech

They emphasised that trade bodies and chambers throughout the country would support the government in its endeavours for revamp of the Federal Board of Revenue and simplification of tax laws to promote corporate culture and broaden the tax net to bridge the fiscal gap.

“The austerity plan announced by the prime minister would have long-lasting effects on social and economic health of the country,” it said. “Besides, it will encourage taxpayers and promote tax culture in the country.”

“The prime minister’s address was a true reflection of the desire of common man, who has been waiting for its fulfillment for the last seven decades,” said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Shaikh Amir Waheed.

“The national debt has swelled to $95 billion and the intention of the new government to avoid further borrowing by taking onboard overseas Pakistanis, incentivising local businessmen and adopting austerity measures are appreciable.”

The money saved in such a way would be used to address other major issues, he said, adding it would restore public’s confidence in the state and state functionaries.

The ICCI chief said due to complicated tax laws, corporate businesses had shrunk from 100,000 to 25,000, adding the simplification of tax laws and introduction of business-friendly tax policies, announced by the prime minister, would help in the development of trade and business activities in the country.

World Bank sees Pakistan’s economy slowing next year

Meanwhile, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik said the measures announced by the prime minister would lead Pakistan to an era of economic prosperity and put the country on the track of economic development.

He urged the need for promoting intra-regional trade as huge potential existed in different sectors of the economy.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2018.

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