PM asks EAC to put tax reforms and the economic growth roadmap

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to present a roadmap envisaging short, medium and long-term measures for economic stability and sustainable growth.
The prime minister issued these directions while chairing a meeting of the Economic Advisory Council via video link on Thursday.
The prime minister said the aim of the roadmap should be to further organise important sectors of the economy including energy, construction, agriculture, tourism, social protection, subsidies, small and medium enterprises, remittances and public private partnership besides bringing stability to prices.
The prime minister said instead of imposing more taxes on the people, out of box solutions should be suggested to provide relief to them. He said reforms in the tax system and simplifying it is the priority of the government.
Imran Khan said the EAC has been established to take advantage of the inputs of prominent economic experts in order to put the economy on strong footing. The prime minister said that as a result of the government’s steps, the business environment has improved and the confidence of entrepreneurs stands restored. He said it has remained endeavour of the government to not only frame policies in consultations with the business community but also ensure their continuation.
The prime minister said that the government’s measures have improved the business environment, besides boosting investor confidence. “We are eyeing to devise economic strategies in consultation with the business sector in order to ensure their sustainability,” Imran Khan said adding that reforms in the tax system to further simplify it are among the top priorities of the government.
On April 03, the PM restructured the Economic Advisory Council, inducting members from public and private sectors. The advisory council would be headed by the prime minister himself while the finance minister would act as its vice-chairman. In the absence of the prime minister, the finance minister would head the meeting of the economic advisory council.
The EAC would have an advisory and capacity enhancement relationship with the government of Pakistan. It will engage with economic institutions collaboratively and synergistically. The EAC would follow the consultative process and suggest policy initiatives that would further strengthen and optimize financial and economic policies in order to enhance their welfare impact for the citizens.
Meanwhile, strongly denouncing the Quetta blast, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed the commitment that Pakistan will not allow the scourge of terrorism to rise again.
In a tweet on Thursday, the prime minister said that he is deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives in the condemnable and cowardly terrorist attack in Quetta on Wednesday night. He said, “Our nation has made great sacrifices in defeating terrorism. We remain alert to all internal and external threats.”
Monitoring the whole situation till late at night, the prime minister directed the Ministry of Interior to investigate the incident from all its aspects and reach the depth of the matter.
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi has said that the enemies of Pakistan want to disrupt peace and create law and order situation in the country.
In a statement on Thursday, strongly condemning the Quetta blast, the president said that elements involved in such cowardly acts in the holy Ramazan are enemies of the country and Islam. He expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the incident. He prayed for the departed souls and for early recovery of those injured.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi condemning the blast said that the nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the armed forces of the country to foil the nefarious designs of the terrorists to destabilise the country in the holy month of Ramazan.
The spokesperson of the Chinese foreign minister on Thursday condemned the attack that took place in Quetta. “#China strongly condemns the terrorist attack on a hotel in #Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province,” read a tweet from the spokesperson.
“China strongly condemns the terrorist attack, expresses condolences to the unfortunate victims, and sympathy to the injured,” read the statement by the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan.
“Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Nong Rong, was leading a delegation on a visit in Quetta on the same day. When the attack occurred, the Chinese delegation was not in the hotel. Till present, no reports of casualties of Chinese citizens in the attack have been received,” it clarified.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the enemies of Pakistan’s peace and progress will fail in their nefarious designs. Fawad said the whole nation is united against terrorism and will continue collective efforts till purging the country of its remnants.
Governor Balochistan Amanullah Khan Yasinzai and Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan strongly condemning the bomb blast have expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched an empowerment programme for fishermen to innovate the fisheries sector to make it more profitable, saying the government’s aim is to make the life of a common Pakistani easier.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the programme, wherein soft loans will be provided to the fishermen under the Kamyab Jawan Programme, the prime minister said that Pakistan has great potential in fisheries, tourism and agriculture sectors.
He said Pakistan’s coastline and rivers can be used for cage-fisheries to improve the lives of the fishermen. He said this will also help improve nutrition and protein level of the people.
He said that banks are the engine of growth for the economy, adding: “When you give soft loans to the people, it gives a boost to the economy.” Imran Khan advised banks to train their staff to deal with the small lenders and to expedite the loan process.
The prime minister said that pollution is another problem of Pakistan and unplanned spread of urban centres is the biggest reason in this regard. He said his government is encouraging multi-storey buildings. He said Central Business District and Ravi Urban City will help address the menace of pollution in Lahore. He said, “We are also trying to convince the Sindh government on the Bundle Island project.”
On the occasion, memorandums of understanding were signed between the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and four commercial banks, including the National Bank of Pakistan and Bank of Punjab, to provide soft loans to fishermen under Kamyab Jawan Programme.
Through the loans to the fisherman, they will be able to upgrade their existing equipment and purchase modern equipment – adding value to their profession. This will enable the fishermen to get concessionary loans under the YES.
Separately, in a statement, PTI leader Usman Dar said the programme is aimed at taking forward the fisheries sector, adding loans would be provided to the fishermen on easy instalments.
Dar lamenting the fisheries sector was neglected by the previous governments, said the incumbent government’s programme is an important step towards making the fishermen an important stakeholder of the blue economy.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed the resolve to take all possible steps for uninterrupted provision of flour to the common people and ensuring stability in prices of the commodity in consultation with all stakeholders.
The prime minister said this while talking to a delegation of flour mills associations of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday.
The delegation presented various suggestions regarding timely supply of wheat, availability of flour to the people at affordable prices and easy inter-provincial movement of wheat. The meeting also discussed matters related to flour supplies and its availability on reasonable prices.
The delegation members thanked the premier for holding a meeting with them for the flour-related issues. They presented recommendations before PM Imran Khan regarding the availability of flour and its supplies across the country.
The prime minister assured the delegation to review all the suggestions. He said that the recommendations tabled by the flour mills’ representatives will be reviewed by the federal government. He said that the uninterrupted flour supply to the nationals and stability in its price possess importance for the federal government. He added that the government will take the necessary steps after holding consultations with the stakeholders.
The PFMA delegation comprised the present and former chairman and other representatives of the flour mills. Federal Ministers Shaukat Tareen, Khusro Bakhtiar and Fakhar Imam, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri, Advisor to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, SAPM Jamshed Iqbal and others also attended the meeting. – TLTP

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