ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin said his message to the people was not to be nervous (Ghabrana Nahi Hay) against dearness and show patience for four to six months till the prices of the commodities in the global market decline.
Speaking as chief guest at the concluding session of the SDPI, here on Thursday, the adviser said his message to the people like his leader (Imran Khan) is “Ghabrana Nahi Hai”.
Tarin said that the country’s sustainable growth was four percent and anything more would heat up the economy, owing to the low saving rate.
The adviser acknowledged that there was stress of prices on lower middle and middle urban class population but stated the inflation in the country was owing to international prices, which also increased the trade deficit. There is a need for some patience as inflation would reduce in three to four months as prices of essential commodities in the international market are declining, he said.
The adviser said that the government’s objective is to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, and regretted this was not possible in the past because of low saving rate, which means that the country’s sustainable growth is four percent and anything additional would heat up the economy, The adviser explained that the gap between imports and exports would lead to current account deficit as the country’s exports are 10 percent of the GDP compared to 25 percent of the GDP imports.
The adviser said that trade gap US$40 billion would be bridged by US$32 billion remittance and inflows in Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) and remaining is an issue. Another problem of the country was its low productivity compared to the other countries and there is a need to work on all these factors, simultaneously.
We have to increase revenue collection so that the government does not need to borrow and the saving is utilised by the private sector.
There is a need to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio by 20 percent of the GDP and this year it would be increased to 12 percent and next year to 14 percent and then it would be taken in the coming years to 20 percent to grow over six percent.
He said that the FBR was being revamped and technology was being used to broaden the tax base as only Rs3.5 trillion sale of retail sector out of Rs18.5 trillion was being captured. The government is also trying to deal with under invoicing at custom stage.
He said that agriculture growth was also being increased and power sector was a major challenge as it capacity payment would increase to Rs850 billion due to excessive power generation by the previous government.
The adviser said that the government was also protecting the people through a bottom-up approach and through Kamyab Pakistan Programme.
Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Khalid Mansoor said that 38 percent energy production in Pakistan is on furnace oil and the country needed efficient energy. He said that electricity price would not decrease as long as inherent issues of power sector are not resolved.
He said that under One Belt One Road initiative, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is very beneficial project for the country and in the second phase, efforts are being made for business development.
As many as nine economic zones would be established and Chinese industries would be persuaded to relocate in Pakistan because China is now a labour-extensive country, he said and added that completion of the CPEC would bring about an economic revolution in the country.
However, a statement issued by the SDPI stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s message was also shown. The prime minister in the message stated that development should be inclusive and must demonstrate trickle down effects with the aim to empower lower strata of society.
The prime minister said the first Muslim state, which was a true welfare state, it used to invest in the wellbeing of the poor, including orphans, widows, and daily wagers.
“I believe that any nation that follows this model will rise. China is the best example of this, which in a very short period alleviated 700 million people from poverty. China exactly followed the model of Riasat-e-Madina, by bringing meritocracy and investing in the weaker segment of the society and, which made their development more inclusive and leaving no one behind.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021