Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar on Saturday assured the business community of ending unnecessary tax burden on businesses.
While speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the federal minister said that the government wanted to reduce undue burden of taxes to ensure fast growth of trade, industry and economy.
He said that Pakistan’s economy had taken a remarkable turnaround and economic indicators were portraying a positive picture. “The global economy is squeezing at a rate of 4.5% while the Indian economy is shrinking over 10% due to Covid-19 but the economy of Pakistan is in a positive mode,” he added.
Azhar highlighted that the industry of Pakistan is leading the economic revival, adding that 7.5% growth of industrial components has been recorded in September 2020 as compared to the same period of last year.
“Demand and consumption of cement and urea fertiliser are at their historic peak; while, sales of automobile sector are 43% higher than the previous year,” he added.
Azhar said, “The government has made foreign exchange reserves stronger while international institutions have changed Pakistan’s rating for the better.”
He apprised the businessmen that the government paid electricity bills of over three million businessmen/traders for three months during Covid-19. “Moreover, the government presented a tax-free budget and relief packages for the construction industry.”
The minister further informed that 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were being established in Punjab while the already established SEZs were being upgraded.
He said the facility of zero-rated regime for the five sectors had been abolished. The benefits would be transferred directly to the exports proceedings from next year.
He also assured the business community that a new policy for SMEs would be introduced soon. “The prime minister has formed the National Coordination Committee (NCC) to facilitate the SMEs,” Azhar stated.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah appreciated the initiatives taken by the government, adding that the policies had helped revive economic activities.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2020.