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Business & Finance

Latest 'amnesty' scheme a good step: Younus Dagha

  • Former federal secretary says it will help attract foreign inflow into productive sectors of economy, stresses on import substitution
Published March 2, 2022

Former federal secretary Younus Dagha said the government's decision to channelise its latest amnesty scheme towards industrialisation is a good step, as it would attract foreign exchange inflow into productive sectors of the economy.

Dagha, currently chairman of the Policy Advisory Board at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), said the government should now also focus on import substitution.

Talking to a private TV channel, Dagha stated, “Amnesty schemes generally face criticism – that they are meant to attract black money – and do not provide benefit to the economy. A major drawback of the previous two amnesty schemes was that they were unconditional. Foreign-held assets worth over $18 billion were whitened through them, but they remain out of Pakistan.

“The good thing about the current amnesty scheme is that this time, we are channelising it towards the industry."

Dagha's remarks come after Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday unveiled an incentives package for promotion of the industrial sector, with focus on attracting both foreign and local investment.

The industrial package includes incentives for investment in small and medium industries, as well as investment for restoration of sick units. The package includes decreasing the tax rate by widening the base, five-year tax holiday to overseas Pakistanis and no questions will be asked for investments in the industrial sector.

Khan, in his address, had said that his government is focus on providing incentives to the export-oriented sector.

To this, Dagha said that apart from export-oriented industries the government should also focus on import substitution.

“The growing import bill is the biggest economic challenge of Pakistan,” he said. ”Export-growth will take time, as industries will develop their capacities. Therefore, import substitution is an easier way to follow as the demand already exists,” Dagha added.

He said that rising inflation hurts mostly the low-income groups, therefore, the government should give targeted subsidy instead of broad-based ones.

Referring to the report published by the FPCCI last year on cryptocurrency, Dagha said that the research found that in 2020-21 Pakistan was ranked third after cryptocurrency transactions worth $20 billion took place in the country during the given period.

Meanwhile, Dagha said that countries all over the world are paying special attention towards cryptocurrency. "For example, Dubai has developed a crypto blockchain strategy and in coming days they would be conducting a crypto expo.

"The government should develop a regulatory policy on cryptocurrency."

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