ISLAMABAD: The federal government has tasked all ministries to prepare a comprehensive economic revival plan with targets amid Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir’s pledge of unwavering support to back the government’s efforts, well-informed sources in the Finance Ministry told Business Recorder.
The COAS has underscored the need for focusing on targets to be achieved in a few months while laying the foundation for medium to long-term measures,” the sources said, adding that he (COAS) has asked the SIFC executive committee to make bold plans while assuring full support from the Pakistan Army in their implementation.
According to sources, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been directed to check banks involved in the illegal business of Letters of Credit (L/Cs) and speculation of foreign currencies.
Governor SBP, Secretary Commerce, and Secretary Finance have been asked to develop a comprehensive plan along with a financial impact assessment, involving the following actions to lift liquidity constraints from industry, ie, deferment of payment of banking loans( principal and mark-up) for one year for the complete value chain of the industry, settlement of pending DLTL( Rs 19.5 billion) & TUF claims( Rs 4.4 billion), proposal for banks to enhance credit limits of financing to industry by 100 percent and viability/mechanism for restoration of zero-rating regime and release of stuck-up refunds.
It has been decided that prudent management and public finances will be ensured by expediting the action plan while Impediments in progress are to be shared in the next Executive Committee meeting along with proposals. solutions and written progress report on monthly basis: (i) reduce fiscal deficit through better revenue collection and alignment of spending within the resources envelope to contain primary and budget deficit within targets; (ii) reduce trade and current account deficits; (iii) rationalize and strengthen the SOEs policy and oversight; (iv) effective debt management; (v) technical work on the NFC Award in light of new census; (vi) capital market reforms; (vii) Pakistan’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and; (viii) External Economic Assistance (EEA) Policy.
Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been directed to share the plan, progress and any impediments in expediting the following during the next Executive Committee meeting: (i) raise in tax collection from Rs 7,169 billion to Rs 9,415 billion in 2023-24; (ii) initiate measures to improve tax-to-GDP ratio by 12.5 percent (incorporating untaxed and low-taxed sectors; (iii) broaden the tax base and add 1 million new taxpayers; (iv) introduce reforms for documentation; (v) assist in completion of Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS); and (vi) upgrade WeBOC and fully operationalise Directorate General Reforms and Automation and; (vii) phase-III roll out of Pakistan Single Window (PSW) with country-wide departments.
Caretaker Minister for Finance along with the SBP will come up with a media plan for highlighting the positive steps undertaken by the government relating to repatriation of funds, investment and returns to the business community.
Progress update on privatisation of the following SOEs be shared during the next Executive Committee meeting: (i) Pakistan International Airlines;(ii) Pakistan Steel Mills (Steel Corp); (iii) Discos in conjunction with the provinces; (iv) RLNG plants through expeditious consultations with the concerned Ministries; (v) pipeline part of gas companies - unbundling of SNGPL and SSGC into Transmission and Despatch Companies.
The Ministry of Privatisation has been directed to provide cutoff dates of finalization of transaction for the privatisation projects and also ranking third party be engaged for evaluation of G2G transactions.
The sources said Finance; Revenue; Economic Affairs; Privatisation, Commerce; Industries & Production Power; Petroleum Information Technology & Telecommunication, Foreign Affairs; Interior; Narcotics Control; Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development; Climate Change, Water Resources; and Science & Technology have shared their initial plans with the SIFC Executive Committee.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023