LCCI suggests govt to overcome budget deficit

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LAHORE: Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Saturday suggested the government to work out strategies to control budget deficit by learning from the experience of those countries which have controlled their budget deficit drastically.

LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid and Vice President Zeshan Khalil stated here that government would have to use a combination of policies as the most effective method to bring down budget deficit was the aim for positive economic growth.

They also called for reducing non-productive expenditures of the state, because non-development expenditures were not only heavily contributing to budget deficit but also one of the major reasons of huge burden of external debts. They pointed out that currently, the percentage of government spending to GDP was on the higher side that must be controlled.

They also proposed that government should broaden the tax base and bring untaxed sectors into the tax net which would increase government revenues and reduce the budget deficit.

They were of the view that agriculture sector of the country also had the ability to contribute significantly to the national exchequer, citing that agriculture, livestock and dairy sector could play a crucial role in the economic turnaround of Pakistan, therefore, government should fully exploit its potential to get rid of the economic ills.

LCCI office-bearers said that economic growth was essential to reduce the budget deficit, adding that revenues of the governments would automatically increase with the growth of trade and industry that was possible only if the number or ratio of the taxes were not raised.

They also opposed the proposed plans to impose fresh regulatory duties on a number of items to curtail budget deficit. They demanded of the government to not only shelve the plan for imposing fresh regulatory duties but also withdraw the existing RD. They said that a meeting of the stakeholders must be convened immediately to get their feedback on the issues of regulatory duty, economic growth and budget deficit etc.

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