‘Govt to provide time-based subsidy to engineering sector’

PM’s advisor says govt to improve Pakistan’s ranking to top 50 countries


Haseeb Hussain January 30, 2019
Abdul Razak Dawood. PHOTO: TWITTER

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday has said although he doesn’t support the idea of subsidies but the government would provide a time-based subsidy on the export of motorcycles and engineering products to boost trade.

The advisor while addressing a press conference alongside Chairman Board of Investments Haroon Sharif argued that it is not practical to provide subsidy for as long as 50 years and the government is rigorously working on improving ease of doing business to get the country included among top 50 economies during next five years.

"Pakistan currently is ranked at 136 in ease of doing business and the government aims to bring it down to less than 100 in two years and among top 50 countries in next five years," Dawood said adding the ease of doing business was a major indicator for attracting foreign direct investment and for revival of industry.

He further told when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government assumed the office Pakistan was ranked at 147 in ease of doing business and due to several short-term measures, it improved to current 136th number, which is a big achievement in itself.

The adviser said besides ease of doing business, the government is also working on simplifying the taxation system, visa regime and is taking steps to link all investment hubs with one window facility.

FTA with US, India difficult at the moment: Dawood

Also speaking on the occasion, Chairman BoI Haroon Sharif said South Asia is among the fastest growing economies of the world which is attracting investments in the region, adding that enhancing foreign investment is on the top priorities of the government.

He said BoI, in close coordination with the provincial governments, is working to simplify the taxation system as about 47 types of manual payments were involved to start any business, adding one window facility is being started by taking the Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan provincial governments on board.

The system is streamlined and procedures are brought down to 16 from 47 by making all payments online, adding Pakistani embassies abroad are also asked to establish special visa desk to facilitate investors.

“The government has also introduced one window facility for company registration and the Punjab Government is linked with the facility, adding process for linking the Sindh has been started whereas all other provinces would be linked by March this year,” announced the BOI chairman.

Govt sees $6b reduction in trade deficit in FY19

He further said the government is also working on 10 other indicators including cross board trade with China, Afghanistan and India for streamlining related matters and absorbing increasing trade activities in ports.

“The government has evolved a mechanism to pay back returns for addressing credit issues of exports,” he said adding one third of the refunds would be paid in cash whereas the remaining amount, the government would launch promissory bonds to pay their refund claims.

Haroon Sharif said in order to attract foreign investment, dedicated business units would be established in each province to facilitate businessmen, besides making easy access to credit for fulfilling the financing requirements.

He said visa regime would also be improved for businessmen and visa would be issued within 24 hours, adding that for further easing the visa process, online visa facility with four countries has already been started which would be extended to 60 other countries in next phase.

He said restricted movements are also abolished.

BoI head said the prime minister's visits abroad have brought about positive impact and perceptions of foreign investors regarding Pakistan was changed and investors form Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia and China had shown keen interest for investing in different sectors of the economy.

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