Lahore: Federal Minister for Industries & Productions Hammad Azhar on Saturday promised to end unnecessary tax burden on businesses.
The Federal Minister while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that government wants to reduce the undue burden of taxes to ensure fast growth of trade, industry and economy.
He said that economy of Pakistan has taken a remarkable turnaround and economic indicators are portraying a positive picture. Global economy is squeezing at the rate of 4.5 per cent while Indian economy is squeezing over 10% due to COVID-19 but economy of Pakistan is in a positive mode.
Azhar said that industry of Pakistan is leading the economic revival. 7.5 per cent growth of industrial components has been recorded in September 2020 as compared to this month of last year. He said that demand and consumption of cement and urea fertilizer is at its historic peak. Sales of Automobile sector are 43 per cent higher than the previous year. Textile sector was working 24 hours a day even during the Eid holidays. He said that all sectors are showing more sales than the past.
The Federal Minister said that challenges like current account deficit, inclusion of Pakistan in Grey list by Financial Action Task Force and various others were inherited to the present regime but now scenario is being changed rapidly.
Government made foreign exchange reserves stronger. International institutions made Pakistan’s rating better. He said that WHO has included Pakistan in those seven countries who protected their economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
He said that government has paid electricity bills of over 3 million businessmen/traders for three months during COVID-19. Government presented tax-free budget and relief packages for construction industry. He said that government has complied with 21 conditions of FATF out of 27 while others will be met soon.
Azhar said that 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being established in Punjab while already established SEZs are being upgraded. He said that facility of zero rated to five sectors had been abolished. The benefits would be transferred directly to the exports proceedings from the next year.
The Minister said that Chambers and Associations would be taken on board for skill development. He said that new policy for SMEs would be introduced very soon. Prime Minister has formed National Coordination Committee (NCC) to facilitate the SMEs. He said that Ease of Doing Business recorded 28 points betterment during the first year of present regime.
He informed the house that government has ended the peak hours for electricity consumption and Prime Minister has given a vast package to the industry for electricity consumption.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that LCCI really appreciates the recent initiative of the Federal Government of giving a remarkable electricity relief package to the small industries in which the additional electricity is being provided at 50% subsidized rates. This would really help our small businesses to revive their operations and enhance their competitiveness.
He said that due to the prudent policies of the Government, the process of economic revival has begun. The Large Scale Manufacturing Industries which showed a negative growth rate of 7.78% in 2019-20 has shown a positive growth rate of 4.8% in first quarter of the current fiscal year and 7.65% in the month of September 2020.