ISLAMABAD, Aug 02 (APP): Minister for Finance, Revenue, Statistics and Economic Affairs Ishaq Dar on Monday expressed resolve to trounce red-tapism for easing out
business opportunities and making Pakistan 18th biggest economy in the world by 2050.
“We shall have to remove red-tapism and facilitate business doing. With the removal of this hiccup and ensuring investments pouring in, we can gear Pakistan to below 100th position from present 138th in half of the envisaged time,” he said in an interview with a private news channel.
He also mentioned a private sector committee constituted to study multiplicity of taxes but their recommendations are still awaited. “We are moving forward by our own and number of incentives will be introduced to facilitate businessmen and investors. You will soon see the actions in this regard.”
He said some taxes relate to federation and some to provinces and if we all evolve consensus, there is no reason that country reaches its destination of becoming 18th biggest economy within half of the projected period.
The minister hoped to overcome energy crisis by 2018 and as the law and order situation had improved and Pakistan was becoming safer destination for investors, it can take more strides. “If we could achieve those targets within three years for which international experts had set a five year time, then why we cannot achieve this target within half of the time.”
Dar said he had also asked the FPPCCI to give proposals for rationalizing tax regime.
“We are ready for out of the box solution, We shall have to devise a mechanism and decide a rationale by ourselves.”
The minister assured to refund the outstanding sales up to month of April, till the end of August.
He said PIA had started earning profit but its loans legacy was thirty years old, therefore the government had asked them to continue struggle for self-sufficiency. “It will not be wise if the utility is given another bail-out package but its income is spent lavishly by its caretakers. We are cognizant of their situation and are encouraging them to better its working.”
He expressed confidence that province will understand the new real estate law and benefit from it for more revenue generation. “We shall engage with provinces on this law
as it will be in their interest if they tow the federal government’s line.”
He said the issue was very clear as it relates to valuation which was earlier done through DC rate and now we desire them to disclose the actual value and pay taxes. “It is an industry estimated around Rs 3000 billion to Rs 7000 billion and we are cautious about not affecting their business the same time also bringing them into tax net.”
The minister said under the new initiative if the seller will get the money, the buyer will also have to disclose his source of income. “Our aim is to ensure transparency in a friendly
manner. It is a major reform wherein the stakeholders and tax collection institutions would be clear about the amount of payable tax.”
He said since last 70 years nobody touched this area and it had become an easy refuge for black money holders and when it will come under proper taxing regime, both the
federation and provinces will benefit from it. “We will engage the provinces and I hope wisdom will prevail.”
Answering a question about 1956 law, he said numerous commissions under this law were constituted but as the Supreme Court observed it as a toothless law, we had drafted new law and sent it to opposition so we can bring in a comprehensive law. “We may be meeting next week and ensure maximum improvement in this law.”
On the Panama papers ToR issue, he said, since there was no chairman or convener of the ToR committee, the government side members had written to the Speaker to summon its meeting which was also expected next week. “We had proposed the August 01 date for it but due to some unavoidable engagements of the opposition members, it may be held next week.”
When asked that by the time PTI’s agitation had started, the minister said, it will make no difference. “Today is not of 2013’s Pakistan. People are more mature now. We need a
national resolve to overcome our problems.” He asked the PTI to do politics on governance, transparency and corruption but not on economy. “We are on way to progress and prosperity. Today international institutions are praising Pakistan for economic growth and let us not halt it again as we delayed CPEC for one year through politics of agitations.”
Dar said earlier sit-in cost national economy Rs 100 billion so maturity should prevail.
“PML-N do not need any immunity or amnesty. We are ready for accountability but it should not be on roads as it is matter of national interest and economy.”
When asked about sitting with PTI, he said, if Banni Gala adopted a positive approach, we had no objection in sitting with them.
He said Pakistan was also working with the Swiss Government and hopefully during 2017, we shall be able to get information from them about Pakistanis money in Swiss banks under the multi-lateral convention of OECD.