NAB won't stalk businessmen PM

Says economy to move from stability to growth in 2020 Govt creating conducive environment for business Opposition causing political unrest.

From Zeeshan Mirza
KARACHI: The federal government has issued an ordinance to keep the National Accountability Bureau away from the business community, Prime Minister Imran Khan told businessmen in Karachi Friday. “You will be happy to hear it that our ordinance is issued today and we have insulated the business community from NAB,”  PM Khan said while addressing traders and businessmen at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. “I know there are some of my friends sitting here and they must be happy to hear this because they were also facing NAB cases.” Earlier in the day, the federal cabinet approved the NAB Ordinance, 2019. It will now be sent to President Arif Alvi. The premier said the business community had been raising the issue of NAB with government officials. “It is our contention that NAB should only conduct scrutiny of public office holders,” he said. There were other institutions such as the Federal Board of Revenue to probe the business community, PM Khan added. The prime minister told businessmen that the government was studying models of various countries to provide relief to investors. He assured that their problems would be resolved and his economic team would always be there to help them. “I will resolve their problems because the country needs it,” PM Khan said, adding that new investors would only come to Pakistan if the existing ones were making profits. “We want people to earn money,” he said. “We want people to make profit.” The government would now focus on “small and medium” industry and help them, the prime minister said. He said 2019 was the year of stabilisation, adding, “God willing, 2020 will be the year of growth.” Prime Minister Imran Khan has again stressed that 2020 would be the year of growth for Pakistan as the government plans to develop tourism, and small and large scale industries. Speaking on Friday at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Top 25 Companies Awards event, the premier said the need of the hour was to incentivise the industries, help the business community, and focus on the small and medium-sized businesses. He said his leadership would keep reminding people about the previous governments and their policies. “People ask me why do I bash the past governments? It’s because we did not get a stable economy and our government is trying it’s best to overcome economic problems,” he added. He said that his adviser on finance and revenue, Dr Abdul HafeezShaikh, had informed people about the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) efforts to bolster the economy. “A crucial problem was that the current account was in deficit, foreign exchange reserves had depleted, there were no dollars, debt worth Rs10 billion had to be repaid, and there was a serious risk of the country defaulting,” he said. “We had to take some hard steps so that the country would not default. All those who understand this issue know what would have happened [in case of a default] and we have seen that happening in the Latin American countries and Lebanon. “Thank God that the rupee has become stable [and] the investor confidence returned. We have experienced hard times and are entering 2020 with good hopes. 2020 will be the year of growth,” he added