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Govt to make ppl realize, paying taxes is their responsibility: Shahid Khaqan

23 December, 2017

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KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Friday said the government had decided to adopt carrot and stick policy to broaden the tax net in the country.

Addressing the launch ceremony of ‘Promotion of Home Remittances Through M-Wallet and Policy for Promotion of SME Finance’ here at the State Bank Building, the prime minister said government will take measures to make the people realize that paying taxes was their responsibility. He said the government was striving to improve the taxation system because non-payment of taxes puts burden on those who should not be paying taxes.

The prime minister said foreign companies were taking interest to invest in Pakistan, being happy over the stability brought in by the incumbent government during the last four years. He said a major political change took place in Pakistan on July 28 this year, but it could neither hamper country’s economic policies nor the development projects. “This is what we take pride in,” he remarked.

Abbasi said much of the remittances come through informal means despite the fact that the Pakistani community abroad was contributing remittances equal to the country’s exports. He said the people who were investing in Pakistan were glad over the economic reforms made by the government, and recalled the recent launch of work on textile and car manufacturing plants in Faisalabad.

He said consequent to the very reforms and robustness of the political system, the companies were pleased to invest in Pakistan despite some difficulties.

The prime minister said the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were the backbone of the national economy despite the fact that half of the start-ups usually met failure and the rest were success.

He believed that Pakistanis were the natural entrepreneurs as they had the precedents of establishing successful businesses in multiple fields. He urged the banks and other financial institutions to cope with the needs of the SMEs and called for changing the relevant laws to facilitate the sector.

Abbasi said without strengthening the SMEs, the economy could not flourish. He said the SBP should not control the SMEs through the same policies it had been toeing for other institutions. He viewed that the SMEs industry could flourish if the financial institutions extend their support in that regard. However, he said, there was a need to explore new business and investment opportunities for the SMEs and also urged the private sector to come up with the proposals in that regard.

He said the government was trying to achieve economic stability within short span of time, besides bridging the deficit between the current and fiscal deficit.

The prime minister also performed the ground breaking for upgradation of Rs 15 billion White Oil Pipeline that would provide uninterrupted petrol and diesel supply upcountry in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Addressing the ceremony, the prime minister said the 786-km-long strategic project would strengthen country’s energy security and was also the most efficient way of transportation of petroleum products internationally. He expressed the hope that the project of multi-grading of the oil pipeline would complete by 2019.

He recalled the tragic Bahawalpur accident in which over 200 lives were lost after an oil tanker met a road accident. He mentioned that a tanker leaves the storage facility at the port every two minutes and the utilisation of the oil pipeline would lessen the load on roads. He said efforts were also underway to upgrade the fleet of country’s 10,000 tankers and make them safer.

Addressing the concerns of the transport sector, he said Pakistan’s petrol consumption was increasing at a rate of 20 per cent, while that of diesel was increasing at a rate of 12 per cent. He said the tankers would continue to provide secondary transportation.

Abbasi said with the completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, there would be increased economic growth and hoped the country’s GDP would increase to 6 percent next year. He said with the full utilization of the oil pipeline, the cost of transportation would also drop from Rs 1 to Rs 1.50 per liter.

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