-Asad Umar says Country witnessing historic increase in taxpayers
By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday called upon the public and private sectors to join hands in supporting the government’s efforts for the documentation of national economy.
He urged the businessmen to play an active role in encouraging business community to pay taxes so that budget deficit could be reduced and more funds be allocated for development work.
The president expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCC&I) led by President LCC&I, Mian Tariq Misbah-ur-Rehman, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. President Alvi said the government was committed to provide a competitive and fair business environment to entrepreneurs and build a sustainable economy.
He stated that the government was taking care of business community and under-privileged sections of society and, in this regard, had provided historic stimulus package of Rs. 1.2 Trillion as economic relief to help business community and poor strata of society.
The president assured the delegation that he would ask the concerned quarters to help address their problems.
The President said the country’s economy despite the pandemic was performing well as is evident from the increase in tax collection and a surge in exports. Expressing satisfaction over the economic performance, the President said that the country’s exports during the last 10 months grew by 13 percent to $20.879 billion as compared to $18.408 billion during the corresponding period last year.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said that with the implementation of successful strategies of current government, country was witnessing a historic increase in active taxpayer network, about 2.5 million people have filed their annual income tax returns. Government would continue walking down the path of stabilization while moving towards stimulating growth in the economy, he said while speaking to PTV news channel.
The positive signs in Pakistan’s economy were seen during the ongoing fiscal year 2020-21 (FY20-21), with remittances growing, tax collection going up, and the primary balance turning into a surplus worth as well, he added. He further explained that the current government inherited a very precarious economic situation in 2018 and therefore had to introduce strict financial discipline to curtail excessive government expenditure, increase revenue collection, introduce market driven exchange rate, remove large tax exemptions and discourage imports. During Covid-19, Asad Umar said the government introduced smart lockdown to balance the imperative to contain the spread of the disease with the need to keep the economy functional, adding, Pakistan’s economy situation is far better than other countries.
He said despite Covid-19, Pakistan has registered an upward trend in foreign remittances which is a clear reflection of confidence in Pakistan’s economy. Asad Umar said that country also witnessed a double digit growth for exports, adding, the policies of government of Pakistan were very wise, focusing on the prevention and control of the pandemic on the one hand and the economic recovery.