Besides leading to financial stability, govt’s economic policies boosting business community’s confidence: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 2 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said the government’s policies had resulted in the economic stability and increased business community’s confidence despite the difficult economic situation.

He also stressed upon extending of further facilitation to the business community, especially to the small and medium entrepreneurs, so that they were encouraged and did not face any financial issues.

The prime minster was chairing a meeting of the government’s economic team. The meeting was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Minister for Food Security Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor Dr Ishrat Hussain, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan, Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant on Social Security Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant Nadeem Babar, Chairman of Board of Investment Dr Zubair Gillani, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir, former finance minister Shaukat Tareen and other senior officials, Prime Minister Office Media Wing in a press release said.

The meeting considered the country’s economic situation, progress on the pending cases related to the FBR in the courts, process of tax refunds to the exporters, progress on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, steps at generating the non-tax revenue, and regular steps to review progress on different development projects.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the economic stability and provision of job opportunities to the youth and skilled were the highest priorities of the government.
He also underlined the need for out of the box thinking and making proposals in this regard. The government’s full attention was focused on provision of relief to the common man, he added.

The prime minister further observed that the continuous progress on the development projects would, on one hand, accelerate the economic process while on the other, would also provide employment opportunities to the country’s youth.

He stressed upon giving special focus to further increasing the close coordination among all the relevant inter-provincial authorities and the departments in this regard.

The meeting was informed that during the months of July to November this year, the data showed an increase in the volume of export and the income in terms of dollars. During the month of October, the imports witnessed a surge by six per cent as compared to the corresponding month in the previous year whereas these figures in the month of November reached to 9.6 per cent. The prime minister expressed his satisfaction over the situation.
The attorney general for Pakistan apprised the meeting in detail about the pending cases of the FBR in the Supreme Court, Islamabad, Lahore, Sindh and Peshawar High Courts.

He informed that a total of 1,089 cases were instituted out of which 551 had been decided whereas 285 were still pending. In others, the decisions had been either reserved or under hearing process.

The prime minister directed the attorney general to expedite the process for early adjudication of the pending cases.

He assured that the attorney general’s office would be fully facilitated with all the required resources to effectively present the government’s stance during hearing of these cases related to the FBR.

He opined that with the early disposal of these cases, the issues of the business community would be resolved, leading to further ease of doing business.

The prime minister was also comprehensively apprised over refunds process to the exporters.

The prime minister directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to further simplify the mechanism introduced for the payment of these refunds, so that the small and medium exporters should not feel any difficulty in receiving the outstanding amounts.

Prime Minister Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Babar apprised the meeting about the progress on TAPI.

The finance secretary briefed the meeting about the efforts for increasing the non-tax revenue which were appreciated by the prime minister.

The planning secretary briefed that the first quarterly review of the development projects was held during October 21 to November 1 in which all the concerned departments were directed to ensure timely implementation and uninterrupted progress on these projects.

He further informed that a half year review of these projects would be held in January 2020 whereas the annual review would be scheduled during the month of August.

Besides, under the direction of the prime minister, he said, monthly review of these projects was also being regularly held. An online system was also being introduced for monitoring of progress on these projects and the system was fully digitalized.

For keeping check on the pace of these uplift projects in the far flung areas, satellite monitoring system was also being initiated.

Shaukat Tareen, former finance minister, apprised the meeting about the launch of ‘Food Bank’ in Lahore. The prime minister lauded the efforts for provision of foods to the deserving people at their doorsteps and assured government’s complete facilitation in this regard.