Con­crete ef­forts needed to bring econ­omy back on track

Enterprise - - National news -

Newly-ap­pointed Min­is­ter of State for Fi­nance Rana Afzal Khan has to make con­crete ef­forts to bring econ­omy back on track and to tackle threats such as unim­pres­sive ex­ports, ris­ing im­ports, huge trade deficit, ru­pee de­val­u­a­tion and mam­moth debts.

Con­grat­u­lat­ing Khan on his ap­point­ment, LCCI Pres­i­dent Ma­lik Tahir Javaid, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Khawaja Khawar Rashid and Vice Pres­i­dent Zee­shan Khalil called for im­me­di­ate mea­sures to im­prove the eco­nomic sig­nals and so­cioe­co­nomic struc­ture of the coun­try.

Pre­sent­ing some pro­pos­als, Javaid said that con­sul­ta­tion in pol­icy mak­ing will bring econ­omy out of mire; there­fore, stake­hold­ers must be taken on board on eco­nomic mat­ters.

Only di­rect taxes should be levied and in­di­rect tax­a­tion should be re­moved, he said, adding that agri­cul­ture in­come must be taxed. “By this, we mean that peo­ple with land oc­cu­pancy of more than 10 hectares should be taxed, if the land has been cropped,” he said.

The LCCI pres­i­dent said among the al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy, biomass shows tremen­dous po­ten­tial. The to­tal ca­pac­ity in biomass is 22,800MW in Pak­istan and lit­tle tech­ni­cal train­ing is re­quired to make use of this re­source. The Al­ter­nate En­ergy De­vel­op­ment Board (AEDB) must con­cen­trate on it to es­tab­lish th­ese units in vil­lages, Javaid said, adding that coal, hy­dropower and biomass will pro­duce en­ergy at a flat rate of less than Rs5/unit for the next 20 years, help­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try to grow un­abated.

“It is rec­om­mended that all po­lit­i­cal par­ties should have a special wing that should com­prise of so­cial, eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial ex­perts. This wing should cover fi­nance, plan­ning, in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy, min­ing, in­dus­tries, trade, food, agri­cul­ture, dairy and live­stock, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, com­merce, re­source mo­bil­i­sa­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, health and fi­nan­cial dis­ci­plines.

Th­ese ex­perts should work like shadow cabi­net mem­bers of the po­lit­i­cal party con­cerned to make con­struc­tive in­puts for all na­tional and in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic is­sues,” the LCCI pres­i­dent added.

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