ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Saturday assured the business community the federal budget (2023-24) would announce tax relief measures to facilitate exporters, promote the documentation, and incorporate visible recommendations of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to encourage investment in the stock market and the corporate sector.
Dar held meetings with the Pakistan Business Council (PBC), the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Pakistan Stock Exchange at the FBR Headquarters, here.
A joint delegation of PBC and OICCI called on the Ishaq Dar at the FBR Headquarters in Islamabad.
The OICCI delegation comprised its President Amir Paracha and other members, whereas, the PBC delegation comprised its Chairman Muhammad Aurangzeb and other members of the Council.
The finance minister was accompanied by Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance, Tariq Bajwa, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance, Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, Ashfaq Tola Chairman Reforms and Resource Mobilization Commission (RRMC), Asim Ahmad, chairman FBR, and other senior officers from the Finance Ministry and the Revenue Division. Governor State Bank Jameel Ahmad also attended the meeting.
The joint delegation highlighted the importance of investment in the country’s economy and called for promoting investment culture in Pakistan backed by investment friendly policies. They said that the business community has always worked for the interest of Pakistan and has brought investment from overseas to the country. The joint delegation also gave proposals for incorporation in the upcoming budget and suggested different measures which can help improve the investors’ confidence.
The finance minister assured the joint delegation that the government will support businesses and provide congenial environment for investment. He said the government values the contributions of business community and investors towards the economy of Pakistan. He assured that their valuable suggestions will be incorporated in the upcoming budget.
In a separate meeting, a delegation of KCCI called on Ishaq Dar at the FBR Headquarters. The delegation comprised Mohammad Tariq Yousuf, President KCCI, Zubair Motiwala, and other members of the chamber.
The finance minister was accompanied by Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance, Tariq Bajwa, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Finance, Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue, Ashfaq Tola Chairman Reforms and Resource Mobilization Commission (RRMC), Asim Ahmad Chairman Federal Board of Revenue and other senior officers from the Finance Ministry and Revenue Division. Governor State Bank Jameel Ahmad also attended the meeting.
The visiting delegation highlighted the issues being faced by the business community especially the restrictions imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan on imports. They were of the view that in order to increase exports they required raw materials for which imports were imperative.
The finance minister and the governor State Bank assured the delegation that their concerns will be taken care of and Karachi Chamber being the largest Chamber of Pakistan has a crucial role in the economic stability of the country. The minister said that the government will incorporate the suggestions given by the Chamber to stabilise economy and promote businesses in the upcoming budget.
Dar also held a separate meeting with a delegation of Pakistan Stock Exchange led by Farrukh Hussain Khan, MD/CEO PSX at FBR Headquarters.
Aisha Pasha, Tariq Bajwa, Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Ashfaq Yousif Tola, Governor SBP, Chairman FBR, and senior officers from Finance Division, FBR, and PSX attended the meeting.
The delegation appreciated the initiative of the finance minister for taking on board all the stakeholders while preparing the budget for upcoming fiscal year 2023-24. The delegation also brought to the notice of finance minister various challenges being faced by the capital markets and investors and presented recommendations to the finance minister to be taken into account in the upcoming federal budget.
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar acknowledged and appreciated the role of PSX in providing a reliable, orderly, liquid and efficient digitized marketplace for investors in Pakistan.
He also assured the participants that despite economic challenges, the government is determined to provide a business and investment-friendly environment in the country through the upcoming budget of Fiscal Year 2023-24, in order to attract more companies and investments in Pakistan and put the country’s economy on a positive trajectory soon.
The delegation expressed sentiments of gratitude to the finance minister for taking on board all the leading businesses and investors before drafting the upcoming budget 2023-24.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023