ISLAMABAD, Jun 16 (APP):Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Tuesday that the revenue target of Rs4900 billion, set for the fiscal year 2020-21 was achievable, however linked it with decline of coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the webinar, organized by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), on “Pakistan Post-Covid-19 Budget and Economic Measures” here, the advisor said that if the virus begins to recede and economy picks up, the revenue target was achievable.
He however, added that nothing could be predicted about coronavirus impacts as the losses it inflicted on national economy have so far been estimated at Rs3000 billion.
The advisor said that the economy of the country was progressing well before the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic as indicated by the economic indicators.
He said, there was no borrowing State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the ongoing financial year while supplementary grants were also not provided, adding that the whole world appreciated performance of Pakistan economy including Mood’y and Bloomberg.
He said that the philosophy of budget was not to impose new taxes at a time of economic contraction to save business community from further burden. Secondly, he added, the budget had focus on facilitating common citizens, particularly those most affected by coronavirus.
The advisor expressed the hope to achieve GDP growth target of over 2 percent set for the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21 would be achieved, adding that if corona affected countries recover from the pandemic, exports will pick up which would have positive impact economy of Pakistan.
The advisor said that around 1600 tariff lines were brought down in the federal budget 2020-21 to facilitate business and import sector whereas there has been reduction in federal excise duty on many products to facilitate business.
He said that the incumbent government inherited economic crisis from the previous government and that is why it was forced to go to International Monetary Fund (IMF) and take hard decisions.
He said that the hard decision taken by the government had brought fruitful results and the current account deficit was reduced from the historic highest of $20 billion to just $3 billion whereas the stagnant exports were increased and there had also been growth in non-tax revenues.
Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Chairperson Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Nausheen Javaid said that the 17 percent growth in revenue collection was unprecedented in decades.
She said that the tax collection by June end is expected to grow only by about 4 percent due to corona factor, hence it would have negative impact on overall growth percentage of 17 percent achieved before the spread of pandemic.