ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed that policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government have resulted in economic stability and increased confidence of the business community.
“There is a need to give more facilities to the business community, especially to the small and medium entrepreneurs, so that they are encouraged and do not face any financial issues.
“There is also a need for out-of-the-box thinking for economic progress. The government's full attention is on provision of relief to the common man,” the premier said on Monday.
He was chairing a meeting of his government's economic team comprising his key cabinet members and advisers as well as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor, the Board of Investment (BOI) chairman and the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP).
The meeting took stock of the country's economic situation, progress on the pending cases filed against tax evaders by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), process of tax refunds to the exporters, progress on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project, steps for generating non-tax revenue, and regular steps to review progress on different development projects.
Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the economic stability and provision of job opportunities to young and skilled people are the highest priorities of the government.
He said continuous work on development projects would accelerate the economic progress and would also provide employment opportunities to young people. He laid stress on further increasing close coordination among all the relevant inter-provincial authorities and the departments in this regard.
The meeting was informed that during the months from July to November this year, there was witnessed an increase in the volume of export and income in terms of dollars.
During the month of October, the imports witnessed a surge by six per cent as compared to the corresponding month in the previous year whereas the figure in the month of November was 9.6%.
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The prime minister expressed his satisfaction over the situation.
AGP Anwar Mansoor Khan told the meeting about the cases of the FBR pending in the Supreme Court and the high courts in Islamabad, Lahore, Sindh and Peshawar.
He said a total of 1,089 cases were instituted out of which 551 were decided and 285 were still pending. In the rest of the cases, the courts had mostly reserved their orders.
The prime minister directed the AGP to expedite the process for early adjudication of the pending cases. He said the AGP office would be fully facilitated with all the required resources to effectively present the government's stance during hearing of these cases related to the FBR.
He said with the early disposal of these cases, the issues of the business community would be resolved, leading to further ease of doing business.
The PM was also comprehensively briefed on refunds process to the exporters. He directed the FBR to further simplify the mechanism introduced for the payment of these refunds, so that the small and medium exporters should not feel any difficulty in receiving the outstanding amounts.
Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar apprised the meeting of the progress on Tapi.
The finance secretary briefed the meeting on the efforts for increasing the non-tax revenue which were appreciated by the prime minister.
The planning secretary said the first quarterly review of the development projects was held from October 21 to November 1.
During the review, all the concerned departments were directed to ensure timely implementation and uninterrupted progress on these projects.
He said a half year review of these projects would be held in January 2020 whereas the annual review would be scheduled for August 2020. He said, monthly review of these projects is also being regularly held according to the directives of the PM.
An online system is also being introduced for monitoring progress on these projects and the system is fully digitalised. For keeping check on the pace of these uplift projects in the far flung areas, satellite monitoring system is also being initiated.
Shaukat Tareen apprised the meeting of the launch of 'Food Bank' in Lahore. The prime minister lauded the efforts for provision of foods to the deserving people at their doorsteps and assured the government's complete support in this regard.
(With additional input from APP)