Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Thursday lauded the vision of Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin for economic growth and social prosperity in the country. In an appreciation letter addressed to Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, President FPCCI Mian Nasser Hayat Mggo said that his vision in respect of preferring economic stimulus approach over fiscal consolidation approach in the given challenging situation amid third wave of Covid-19 was highly appreciated.
“Your address to United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and testifying before the national Assembly Standing Committee on Finance reflects the approach you are intending to pursue for economic growth” he remarked.
He said that it was the time to shift from stabilization to economic growth towards the need of pulling the masses from poverty and provide them enabling environment to contribute in the growth development needs to reduce the poverty and provide employments in the young demographic dominated country.
He also lauded his policy approach in exploring alternate measures to reduce circular debt instead of tariff increases, adding that his intended efforts to expand and broaden the tax base instead of increase in taxes to achieve the revenue targets are well placed thoughts for required growth oriented economy.
Further, the minister had rightly pointed out towards the need of off-loading the burden of continued losses of SOEs by fast track privatization, he added.
FPCCI head also observed that keeping the policy rate @ 13.25% by SBP was not matching with the ground realities requiring the economic stimulating factors to be preferred in the most challenging situation, adding that FPCCI did demand from SBP for quick slide to lower interest rates, which went down in stages, which we call also not a good policy during the situation when offsetting the reduction in growth was the priority policy option picked up by countries at large.
“We have also noted that you consider higher tariffs as impeding force in economic development, for which there was a concurrence at large including FPCCI representing private sector of trade, industry and service sector”, he remarked.
President FPCCI also appreciated Finance Minister thinking in regard of equitable development across the board and said that the minister had rightly pointed out that major revenues were being spent by provinces on nine major cities, while the health and education sectors across the country are under-funded and ignored.
Nasser Hayat said that the revised budget strategy paper was once again recommended to be inclusive of “FPCCI–Proposals for simplified taxation and accelerated growth”, which recommends lower rate of taxes and broadening of base as the probable solution to enhance the revenue.
He was of the view that the present sales tax rate 17% was very high and a mechanism prepared for its reduction is in right direction pointed out by the minister, which we highly appreciate.
The economy must perform amid harmony instead of conflicts and contradictions, for which micro and small businesses and SMEs should be given simple taxation structure to contribute in development of country, he added.