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Business & Finance

Better economic policies will pave way for investment: Tarin

  • Finance minister assures business community that govt will resolve issues
  • Says IMF not happy on a couple of issues
Published August 20, 2021

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that better economic policies of the government will pave way for more investment in the country, adding that authorities are keen to solve the problems faced by traders.

Addressing merchants and investors at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday, Tarin said that facilities have been provided to traders in the latest budget that Pakistan deemed a shift from stabilisation to pro-growth.

"I don't believe in committees,” said Tarin. “If the government's economic policies are better, there will be investment," he said.

The finance minister said that it is the responsibility of the government to satisfy the trading community in order to generate more investment. He urged the traders to keep faith in the government's promises.

Tarin assures exporters there will be swift refund payments

“Capital has no religion, no geographic boundaries, it will go where it is safe, where it makes money otherwise it flows out. You have seen a lot of capital flowing out of Pakistan from the banking sector, pharmaceutical, and some others. But I can assure you -- have faith in us,” said the minister.

He said that the government has made short and long-term plans for economic improvement, adding that budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 was a step in that direction.

"[For] the budget, I tried to consult everybody in the business community, tried to accommodate as much as I could, while remaining within the framework of the IMF (International Monetary Fund)," he said.

"At times, I even flouted some of those areas [as] you know IMF is not happy on a couple of things, but I still tried to move forward."

Talking about the turnover tax, especially pertaining to OMCs, the finance minister termed it regressive.

Meanwhile, briefing on the Point Of Sale (POS) systems, he said that in order to achieve integration there is a lot of other capacity building to be done within the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). “We believe that we would hit 70,000-80,000 to 100,000 retailers this year and move on.”

Taking about the energy sector, the finance minister said that we need at least five to seven years to resolve issues that the sector is facing. Several other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders have said in the past that the previous government started many energy projects that were not needed.

"Excessive [electricity generation] capacity has been built and we will have to consume that electricity," he said, adding that "there will be a time lag [in resolving issues faced by the energy sector] and there will be a strain on us."

Artificial intelligence and innovative ways: More people to be brought into tax net: Tarin

He further said that the government is trying to broaden the tax base with the use of technology.

Tarin noted that to mitigate the perception of the FBR harassing taxpayers, authorities are planning to ensure the payment of taxes through universal self-assessment and third-party audits.

"We will seek the services of 1,500 professionals from the ICAP (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan) for the audits," he said.

"It's about time that people who are not paying taxes start paying taxes because otherwise, people like you and I suffer," Tarin added.

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