ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is making strenuous efforts to remove all hurdles and bottlenecks faced by exporters, investors and businessmen and to give a spur to the exports industry.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of 14th International Chambers Summit 2022 arranged by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here on Tuesday, he said that exports and tax collection were the two main driving agents to boost the country’s economy
He said that in the past, no attention was paid to these sectors of the economy which were vital for wealth creation, adding that the exports sector was stagnant in the past, but the present government was providing all facilitation to the exporters and said that exporters should be encouraged with awards and other incentives.
The prime minister said the government is constantly endeavouring to introduce incentives for ease of doing business and remove all bottlenecks which would help increase businessmen’s profits and develop a tax culture. He also termed the introduction of the mini-budget as an effort to document the economy.
The prime minister said: “No government in Pakistan ever faced such big challenges like the fiscal and current account deficits. If our friends, Saudi Arabia and China would not have helped us, we would have defaulted due to our liabilities. We had no reserves to stem the depreciation of the rupee.”
He said the country’s economy was going through a stabilization phase, but unfortunately, then came the Covid 19 which posed the century’s biggest challenge.
It was worth appreciable how Pakistan was out of the woods. The government not only saved the economy but also the lives of the people, he said, adding, the pandemic brought havoc across the world. In India, its economy was badly impacted with a huge death toll.
The prime minister said that he was criticized by the political opponents for not clamping a complete lockdown. But their decision of smart lockdown was being followed by the British prime minister Boris Johnson. Then came the challenge of Afghanistan and the flight of dollars which put pressure on the rupee, he further added.
The prime minister said the world also witnessed a record surge in commodity prices as the supply and demand lines were disrupted by the pandemic. The people all over the world had been facing problems, he added.
He observed that tax culture could not evolve in the country as the people were reluctant to pay taxes in the past, due to lack of trust over rulers who spent the public tax money on their luxurious living.
He referred to the health cards initiative under which each family was getting a free health facility worth 1 million rupees. Such a health insurance was never thought of in the world. To lift the living standards of poor segments of society, the government also launched Ehasaas programme and stipends.
The prime minister said Pakistan was still a cheaper country when compared with petroleum product prices in India and others in the region.
The presidents of more than 54 regular chambers, 10 small chambers, 13 women chambers and representatives from the development partners, international business community, political parties, ministries and the government institutions were attending the summit. The summit will provide an opportunity to the businessmen to seek resolution of their issues besides, presentation of solid proposals to the stakeholders for the formulation of the business-friendly policy of the country.