PM Imran directs economic team to promote SMEs

Imran Khan expresses satisfaction on positive trajectory of economic indicators


​ Our Correspondent October 27, 2019
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday tasked his economic team with a mission to promote the construction and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors in order to generate employment opportunities and run the economy on a fast-track basis.

Chairing a meeting of his economic team in Islamabad, the prime minister reiterated the government’s commitment to providing all-out facilities to domestic as well as foreign investors. He expressed satisfaction that the economic indicators were on a positive trajectory.

The meeting was attended by federal ministers – Khusro Bakhtiar, Ali Zaidi, Omar Ayub, and Hammad Azhar; advisers – Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Abdul Razak Dawood and Dr Ishrat Hussain and special assistants – Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Yousuf Baig Mirza, Shaukat Tareen.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Baqir Raza, Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Gilani and other senior officers were also present in the meeting, which aimed at helping accelerate the economic activity in the country.

The prime minister appreciated the performance of the relevant departments and officials in improving Pakistan’s ranking on the ease of doing business index. “It is a huge achievement for the country,” the prime minister said.

Regarding the promotion of the SMEs, the prime minister was informed that the board of governors of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda), comprising vibrant and expert people, was being formed.

The participants of the meeting were also apprised that the appointment of the chief executive officer of Smeda would be made by December this year, while a three-year strategy would also be formulated in this regard.

Pointing towards the positive trajectory of the economic indicators, the prime minister said the value of the rupee was stabilising, while the stock market index was moving upward. He said he was holding frequent meetings to give impetus to the wheel of the economy.

Briefing the prime minister, the SBP governor said around 46,940 cases were pending with the banking courts and their early disposal required legal reforms. On the occasion, the prime minister directed for providing facilities to overseas Pakistanis in sending their remittances.

On the directives of the prime minister, the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) deferred the implementation of the axle-load policy on M-9 Motorway for one year. The decision was taken on the request of the trade community.

Earlier, talking to FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Chairman Usman Yousaf Mobin, Prime Minister Imran said broadening tax base is vital to enhance the government’s capacity to provide better facilities to the people.

“The broadening of tax net will not only lessen the burden on existing taxpayers but also enable the government to ensure the provision of education, health and other civic facilities in the far-flung areas,” the prime minister said.

He said the government is striving to bring transparency in the tax system so that “every patriotic citizen could play a role in the country’s progress and development”.

(With Additional input from APP)

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