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LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood has said that the smart lockdown policy of the government has helped the government in achieving 3.94 percent GDP growth in the fiscal year 2020-21.

“A continuity of the business activities during the second and third wave of Covid-19 has helped Pakistan to achieve 3.94 percent GDP growth,” he asserted.

Talking to Business Recorder, he pointed out that Pakistan was not able to cross Rs 3800 billion tax collection over the last three years but it is for the first time that the tax collection has reached Rs 4100 billion. “We are likely to achieve our revenue target for the current fiscal year,” he said, adding that all became possible only due to the continuity of business activities in the country during the second and third wave of Covid-19.

According to him, the government is set to increase the salary of civil servants in the upcoming budget besides deferring an increase in the electricity tariff. He said the government had conveyed to the IMF that it would ensure no further surge.

Dr Waqar said those who were critical to the growth numbers should keep in mind that the government had adopted the policy of smart lockdown after locking down the economy for three months during the first wave of COVID-19. The government had closed the export-oriented sectors for the first time in the history of the country during the first wave of the Corona pandemic. However, a change in policy contributed to the economy, as different sectors kept contributing to it amidst smart lockdowns.

He said the government was planning to introduce lucrative tax schemes to document the economy ahead. Especially, he said, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was intending to focus on Point of Sale registration scheme in order to generate more revenue during the next fiscal year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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