ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 (APP):Finance Minister Asad Umar Wednesday informed a delegation of Pakistan Business Council that FBR had been directed to review and improve the Expeditious Refund System (ERS) parameters to ensure early processing of exporters’ claims.
He said the procedure for processing of DLTL claims was also being revised to ensure that the delays were eliminated.
The PBC delegation which called on the minister here discussed with him the overall business environment in the country and made recommendations for necessary policy interventions to enhance business and commercial activity in the economy.
The recommendations included measures related to tax as well as ease of doing business in general.
The finance minister said the government believed in facilitating all sectors of the economy and was taking serious measures to create an enabling business environment. Having a quality tax regime which could help achieve this end was among the government’s top priorities.
The minister particularly expressed the government’s commitment to resolve the sales tax refund issue on a sustainable basis.
The delegation also raised the issue of GIDC. The minister said the prolonged litigation was neither in the interest of the business community nor the government. He sought recommendations of the business community to resolve this long standing issue.
The minister said the government was working on enhancing productivity of various sectors and promoting value addition with a view to achieving export enhancement and job creation. He invited the business community to make suggestions for achieving these objectives.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Industries, Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister of State for Revenue, Mohammad Hammad Azhar were also present in the meeting.
Pakistan achieves more than 1 billion USD disbursement from ADB during FY 2018.
Meanwhile, in another meeting with Tomoyuki Kimura, Director General Strategy, Policy & Review Deptt, Asian Development Bank (ADB) the finance minister said ADB’s continued support and pro-active approach has further strengthened its relationship and partnership with Pakistan, which is now at a historic high level.
Pakistan achieved more than 1 billion USD disbursement from ADB during FY2018 which is the highest disbursement amongst all multilateral development partners.
Asad said the present government is taking various measures and reforms that will help the country steer out of current economic situation on both fronts such as external economic challenges including trade deficit, low FDI and forex reserves.
As regards domestic challenges, we are focusing on fiscal consolidation, monetary policy and financial inclusion. He appreciated the ADB’s recently approved Country Operations Business Plan (COBP) 2019-2021 for Pakistan with an indicative assistance of 7.5 billion USD.
The DG ADB apprised the finance minister about salient features of the ADB 2030 strategy.
He dilated on different new lending products including special policy based lending. Discussion also focused on private sector lending.
He said ADB will also provide programme lending facility to Pakistan to the tune of $ 2.3 billion in the next three years, starting 2019, in the spheres of future energy sector development, trade and competitiveness and capital market development. This lending facility, it may be added, is part of the COBP.
The finance minister thanked Tomoyuki Kimura for the provision of technical assistance in capacity building of personnel in Finance and Economic Affairs Divisions.
He also appreciated the pro-active role of the ADB’s Pakistan Resident Mission under the leadership of Ms. Xiaohong Yang for promoting Pak-ADB economic partnership.