Digital economy important to check corruption, broaden tax net: President
APP62-09 ISLAMABAD: November 09 - President Dr. Arif Alvi, addressing the soft launch ceremony of Financial Pakistan Expo, 2020, at Aiwan-e-Sadr. APP

ISLAMABAD, Nov 9 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said Pakistan’s embarking on the journey of digital economy was important in controlling financial corruption and bringing more people into the tax net.

Addressing the soft launch of Financial Pakistan Expo 2020 here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president called upon the banking sector to ensure financial inclusiveness for extending benefits to all segments of the society, including the underprivileged, women and disabled.

The Financial Pakistan Expo 2020 is aimed at bringing forward key value propositions notably in areas of enabling infrastructure finance, boosting international trade and investment flows, and deepening financial inclusions.

President Alvi said faster digital transactions resulted into stronger and stable economy.

He said ensuring an equity-based and non-elitist approach in health and education sectors was significant for the development and prosperity of the nation in real terms.

The president lauded the country’s banking sector to adapt to new modes of financial system that also helped during the coronavirus pandemic.

He stressed on cashless and common system of payment, as currently in place in China and other developed countries, to maximum facilitate the consumers and also benefit the national economy.

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He appreciated the government’s financial team, including Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and State Bank of Pakistan Governor Reza Baqir for addressing the challenges of current account deficit and artificial value of dollar.

The president asked the advisor on finance to also consider working on crop insurance in the agriculture sector to lessen the burden on the government.

He said the government’s decision to approach the International Monetary Fund last year was correct as it maintained a “financial discipline” that ultimately helped stabilize the economy.

He mentioned that subsidies given to industries, traders and the construction sector would boost economic activities in the country.

President Alvi urged the banks to reserve allocations for loans disbursement to the less-privileged classes of the society, including poor, differently-abled persons and women, particularly in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

On resurgence of COVID-19 cases, he asked the nation not to ignore the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and continue wearing face masks to control the spread of virus.

He said the number of cases, earlier recorded 600 per day in July, had touched 1,000 presently, which required a unified approach to counter its effects on human lives and the economy.

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Advisor Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said the government took difficult decisions to restore the economy that faced crisis due to the policies of previous regimes.

He said the business community was facilitated through economic packages and subsidies, besides financial support extended to the poor during the pandemic.

SBP Governor Reza Baqir mentioned that the economic reforms had resulted in stabilizing the stock market and national economy.

He emphasized upon the banks to highlight at the Expo the subjects, including e-sector initiatives in low-cost housing and construction, advertising of SME finance products and financial empowerment of women.

Pakistan Banking Association President Muhammad Aurangzeb said an enabling regulatory environment and government policies would support digitalization of the country’s economy.

Chief Executive Officer of The Host Sikandar Lodhi said the Expo would offer an opportunity to the country’s financial institutions to market their products and services, and promote digital banking for awareness.

The Financial Pakistan Expo 2020 to be held at on November 18-19 in Lahore will focus on suggesting ways and means to revive economic activity in the country with involvement of the government, banking sector and consumers.