Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to do whatever it can to eradicate the corruption from the country. If it has been done, which is possible through hard decisions and strict measures, the country would get rid of budget deficit and burden of foreign loans. The meeting was held on Thursday April 13, 2017 on the theme: “National budget 2017 – 18: Fixation of priorities”, presided over by Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khari at a local Hall.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan said, the issue of population control was being taken for granted and the necessary attention it needed was not being paid in our country, though it was such an important issue, if not controlled, it could null and void all the socio-economic progress of the country. Bangladesh, which possessed lesser resources than Pakistan, has already controlled the population issue, she added.
Sultan Chowla, former president Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that there was no scarcity of resources in our country as Pakistan was second in production of salt, fourth in milk and cotton and eleventh in Rice produce in the world. Even then our government’s income was low. Because of tax avoiding by the people, incorrect system of tax collection, burgeoning ratio of indirect taxes as people of different monthly income ranging from Rs. 25,000 to 500,000 per month were paying same indirect tax on double reties. Income tax on agricultural income was not being leveled only to please a political group, he lamented and said economic system, based on social justice be implemented in the country.
Zafar Iqbal, president, Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (SAMEA) said that 17 to 22 percent general sales tax (GST) could not be justified in a poor country like Pakistan, that should be reduced to 3 to 4 percent and agricultural income be brought to the tax net instead in order to boost the income of the country. Withholding tax on registered tax payers on drawing of cash from banks should be abolished, he added and further said that small and medium enterprises were the back bone and economic engine of every country, so it is imperative that incentives for their promotion and development be included in coming national budget as 96 percent small and medium enterprises have involved 80 percent labour force of the country and contributed 40 percent to the GDP.
Ms. Shamim Kazami was of the view that women should be given chance to involve in small and medium enterprises; facility of loans from banks be given to them through Union Councils to run their business. If small and medium enterprises are organized, involving women, in the country if would not only empower women but also speed up the economic growth in the country. Ms. Huma Baig emphasized on the revival of silk industry by cultivating silk worms which was once a lucrative enterprise in the country. Khalid Ikramulla Khan said that it was welcome sign that many countries have taken interest in participating in CPEC project as it would bring more investment in Pakistan. Mohammed Usman Damohi said that we always saw national budget in the perspective of increase of prices, lack of money for health and education. Anticipating a change in the coming budget it is expected that government should give its special attention on health and education sectors.