PM seeks proposals of business community to improve the economy

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has sought recommendations of business community to improve the country’s crippling economy during his day-long visit to Karachi on Sunday.

Speaking to a delegation of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), led by its chairman Sulaiman Mehdi, the prime minister said the government was committed to promote and protect businesses and investment in the country.

Prime Minister Imran is in Karachi for a day-long visit, where he will weigh up the political scenario and the development projects in the city.

Prime Minister Imran approved most of the recommendations suggested by the delegation.
The delegation, comprising Board Members, prominent brokers and business men including Aqeel Karim Dhehdi, Arif Habib and Basheer Janmohammad appreciated the fiscal consolidation measures taken by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The delegation assured the premier its full support to the government over its fiscal policy in their meeting Prime Minister who was assisted by Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar, Governor Sindh and other prominent members of the Cabinet at the Governor House.

The meeting was very fruitful and the following points were discussed and agreed to revive the investors’ confidence at PSX: 1. Advance Tax of .02% on purchase and sale of shares (both sides) to be reduced to 0.01 %, however on the request of the Chairman the FM agreed to consider abolishing it completely.

This has no tax revenue impact on GOP being an adjustable tax; 2. Allow carry forward of capital losses up to 3 years; 3. Rationalisation of Taxation of Holding Companies on inter corporate dividend; 4. Rationalisation of Capital Gain Tax on Equities in line with Real Estate in the next budget; 5. Promote listing of GOP and CPEC projects Debt at PSX; 6. Help curtail over regulation over brokers for promoting equity investments.
It was also agreed that the proposed changes will be enacted on fast track.

The prime minister said there were vast investment opportunities in Pakistan, adding that foreign investors were also expressing keen interest to invest in various sectors of the economy.

PM Imran said his government’s approach regarding business and investment was different from the previous governments and assured the delegation that necessary steps were being taken to bring stability in the market.

The meeting agreed to expand tax base and increase the use of Information Technology in the stock market besides putting an end to illegal transactions.

Earlier in the day, the premier was received by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on his arrival to the metropolis. President Dr Arif Alvi has also arrived in the Sindh capital.

During the visit to the economic hub of the country, the premier and president are expected to spend a busy day at the governor house.

PM Imran and President Alvi will conduct meetings with members of the business community, PTI Sindh Assembly members and other delegations as well. The two are going to be engaged with them on the metropolis’ important issues.

The prime minister also met Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and various high-level officials, who briefed the former about the development work and the ongoing anti-encroachment drive taking place in the city.

Sunday’s visit is PM Imran’s second visit to Karachi after assuming the top office of the country.

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