Pakistan aims to enhance trade, investment relations with Sri Lanka: Razak

ISLAMABAD, Jun 10 (APP):Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Wednesday said that in federal budget 2020-21 the government would ensure new job creation be executing its true economic vision in the country.
The government would follow the three prong strategy to achieve the objective of generating economic activity, pursuing ‘Make in Pakistan ‘policy’ and tariff rationalization to ensure export led growth in the country, the adviser told APP.
He said that in the upcoming budget, government’s prime focus was to generate economic activity and job creation in the
Replying to a question on revenue collection, he said that the objective was to set the direction right in terms of revenue collection
and to generate economic activity, “we will use Income Tax and Sales Tax for direct revenue collection, while import duties on raw materials for industry will be brought down to zero”.
The adviser said that in wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the import duties on finished products will remain the same in this year’s budget.
However, these duties will be reduced gradually over the next three years to promote competitiveness for export led growth in the country, he said.
Razak Dawood said this will then form the basis for improving revenue collection and spurring industrialization in Pakistan.
He said that in the past, major part of revenue (approximately 50 percent) was collected through import-related duties in including
custom, additional customs and regulatory duties, which is higher than the share of similar revenues collected by regional countries and several times more than that of the similar revenues collected by the developed economies.
The adviser said the tariffs in Pakistan are higher than those of the top exporters of the world and significantly higher than the regional competitive economies, which is holding back the true potential of the country.
Replying to question on tariff rationalization, he said that in the forthcoming budget, the government have plan to reduce import duties, namely Custom, Additional Custom and Regulatory Duties on raw materials for industry to encourage production on items.
He said the objective is to give boost industrialization in the country and increase our share of exports in the overall global trade.
The adviser said that by focusing on the above, there will be increased economic activity and industrialization, which will lead to higher revenue collection from Income Tax and Sales Tax.
This would not only lead to improvement our balance of payments, but it will also create employment opportunities, import substitution and export enhancement, he informed.
Replying to a another question on “Make in Pakistan” policy, he said that being a proponent of ‘Make in Pakistan’, “I have always believed that the way forward for our country is to produce locally as well as enhance exports.
Razak Dawood said that in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, “I am sure that this is the right time to pursue ‘Make in Pakistan’ policy and we are putting in place the right elements in the upcoming budget.”