NA body recommended measures to develop economy on sustainable grounds

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 07 (APP):The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on
Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs was given several suggestions by the
economic experts on devising a policy and implementation mechanism to develop
economy on sustainable basis.
The committee, which met under the chairmanship
of Qaisar Ahmed Sheikh, was attended by its member, economic experts and
officials from Ministry of Finance, State Bank of Pakistan and other relevant organizations.
On the occasion, renowned economic expert and
former bureaucrat, Saeed Qureshi suggested that the government should follow the
World Bank’s index of ease of doing business to help promote sustained growth.
He also suggested for commissioning a study
on issue of ‘One-Window’ saying we had been talking about the facility for last
50 years but failed to do it so far. He also suggested for removal of business
irritants.
On the occasion, former Chairman Federal Bureau
of Statistics, Abdullah Yusuf, highlighted the issues of tax gap and urged for
comprehensive tax policy.
He was of the view that the tax collection
does not commensurate with the total potential, arguing that non-documented
economy was one of the reason for this gap.
He urged for systematization through
automation and cited example of Chili where the tax authorities had made
tremendous progress in evaluating the actual tax of the taxpayers.
He said that manufacturing sector of Pakistan
was contributing 21 percent to GDP but its tax share in taxes was 66 percent
compared to tax share of 33 percent by service sector which shares 58 percent
to GDP. Similarly, he added that agriculture, which contributes 21 percent to
GDP contributes less than one percent to tax.
He said that there were countries were the
tax to GDP ratio was almost 50 percent, citing examples of Norway and Sweden.
He said that it was critical to take these
measures but these have to be taken, sooner the better.
Speaking on the occasion, another economic
expert, Shabbir Ahmed said that improving quality of civil servants would serve
the purpose and help put the country’s economic policies on sustainable path.
Other experts also suggested many other measures
both on policy side and implementation to help develop sustainable economy.
Earlier, the committee disposed of “An
Eradication of Riba Bill 2015” after the finance ministry concluded that the
current the government was working towards promoting the Islamic banking in the
country and it was not feasible to eradicate the current banking system in one-
go.
The committee also gave go ahead to the finance
ministry to repeal the Establishment of Federal Bank for Cooperatives and Regulations
of Cooperatives Banking (Repeal) Bill 2017 as well as the House Building
Finance Corporation (Repeal) Bill. However, the committee was of the view that these
bills should be repealed only of there was no pending liability.