In a significant economic development, Pakistan’s tax collection has surpassed its targets, and for the first time in 14 months, notable growth in the large-scale and power sectors is recorded. Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar shared these encouraging views during her address to industrialists at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI).
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar revealed that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is scheduled to visit Pakistan on November 2nd, affirming that the IMF program remains on track. The government has been diligently implementing measures aimed at bolstering the country’s economy, and upon the receipt of the IMF tranche, further inflows from international financial institutions are anticipated.
At the event, KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman emphasized the need for the government to extend relief to the cottage industry while ensuring equal rights.
Minister Akhtar underscored that the current account is showing improvement due to the government’s proactive initiatives, and she clarified that the State Bank, not the Ministry of Finance, determines the interest rate. She expressed her awareness of the industry’s concerns and affirmed her commitment to addressing industrialists’ grievances on all fronts.
The Finance Minister also disclosed that an economic recovery plan, as directed by the Prime Minister, is in the works and will be executed in the near future. The plan includes efforts to activate the Export-Import Bank, with the overarching goal of fostering sustainable growth led by the private sector. Small-scale industries are seen as pivotal players in driving economic recovery.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar proudly announced that, for the first time in 14 months, the large-scale and power sectors have reported growth, and there have been positive developments in cement and tractor production. The Pakistani Rupee has appreciated against the US Dollar in interbank markets, while law enforcement agencies have been instrumental in curbing smuggling and illegal gambling.
Tax collection under the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has exceeded the IMF’s targets in the first quarter. Furthermore, the government is actively introducing reforms for public sector institutions and implementing programs of international financial institutions such as the World Bank. Reforms in the stock exchange are also in progress to facilitate increased investment from the capital market.
KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman expressed the need for equitable support to the cottage industry and applauded the caretaker government’s handling of the country’s affairs during challenging times. The government’s strong stance against gambling and smuggling was commended for its positive impact on the economy.
Chairman FBR Amjad Tiwana highlighted ongoing reforms and restructuring efforts within the FBR and measures to expand the tax base. Collaborative actions against tax defaulters, in partnership with organizations like NADRA, have yielded promising results, including agreements on digitization.
Abdul Rahman Waraich, Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), stressed the importance of understanding why small companies do not progress into larger entities and why certain companies do not secure listings on the stock exchange. He emphasized that increased economic activities will naturally lead to higher revenues.
In closing, Standing Committee Chairman Tariq Malik highlighted Korangi’s significant contribution to government revenue, and the event featured addresses from other prominent figures, including Zahid Saeed, CEO of KITE Limited, and former president Masood Naqi.
Photo Caption: KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman presenting the shield to Federal Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar. At the occasion Zubair Chhaya, Chairman FBR Amjad Tiwana, Nighat Awan, Zahid Saeed, Tariq Malik, Farhan-ur-Rehman, Hasham A Razzak and Tariq Baghpati are also present.