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PML-N to introduce long-term economic policies: Nawaz

Declaring economic reforms a key manifesto of his party, PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif has also announced to reduce corporate and income tax up to 10 percent, if his party is elected to power in the next elections. Addressing the members of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) here at the association's office on Tuesday, the PML-N chief said that high tax rate was discouraging foreign and local investment in the country.

He said that under the tax reforms, the PML-N would focus on widening tax net and rationalising custom duty, corporate and income tax. "Corporate and income tax will be 10 percent and import duty will be 5 percent, if PML-N is elected and become a king party," he added.

However, he said that high import duty on some sectors would continue to support the local industry. "Revival of economic activities is our key intention and with the consultation of the business community we will soon prepare a manifesto for the next general elections. Long-term economic policies will be a main component of this manifesto," he said.

Nawaz elaborated that long-term and steady policies, overcoming the energy crises, tax reforms, and protection of local industries would be a part of the PML-N's economic agenda. He further said that the PML-N was also working on finding solution to current energy crises and a bill in this regard would be presented in the National Assembly soon.

"We have an excellent economic reforms agenda, but unfortunately the PML-N was never allowed to complete its five-year tenure," he regretted. The PML-N chief attributed India's economic development to PML-N economic policies, claiming that the country had adopted the PML-N's economic agenda, which was provided to them on request. "Now India has adopted long-term economic polices, which is the foundation of economic success," he added.

Recalling the economic development during his tenure, Nawaz said that investment-friendly environment, liberal foreign exchange policy, construction of Karachi, Lahore airport and motorway were some of the economic achievements of his party. "During our tenure Pakistan was making excellent progress on economic front and we were number one in the South Asia, but now we are performing poor among other neighbouring countries," he said. The PML-N chief said that dictatorship was not the solution to the country's problems and in current circumstances Pakistan could not afford a new martial law.

Nawaz said that opposition could also play a vital role in the economic development of the country and the PML-N was ready to discus the unresolved issues in the National Assembly. On the occasion, Aptma Chairman Mohsin Aziz said that power shortage and high interest rate was hurting the economic and industrial development of the country, therefore these issues needed to be addressed on an urgent basis.

He said that Aptma had the largest share in the textile exports as around 50 percent of textile export had been made by Aptma members. However the industrial growth had almost stopped because of high interest rate and power crisis, he added. Aptma Vice-Chairman Tariq Saud, Yasin Siddik, Shahbaz Ali Malik, Mamnoon Hussain, Ahsan Iqbal, Ghous Ali Shah, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, Saleem Zia and others were also present in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011