Govt aiming for pro-investment, pro-business budget, ADB told

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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue and Federal Minister Haroon Akhtar Khan said the government is aiming for a pro-investment and business-friendly federal budget for the coming year to jumpstart growth and boost the economy; he apprised Asian Development Bank (ADB) Resident Mission Country Director Pakistan Xiaohong Yang, here.

“We are looking into all possible ways to boost the GDP growth and we are willing to work with the industry and all stakeholders to prepare a budget that addresses the major concerns and issues facing the economy, particularly the manufacturing sector which holds the key to developing the country on a sustainable basis,” he said while talking to Xiaohong Yang, who along with her team met the federal minister at FBR House to share with him their views and recommendations on the current state of economy and the issues it faces.

Haroon Akhtar Khan said the government had brought down the corporate tax rates from 35 to 30 per cent and had also taken certain other measures to reverse the decline in exports which had started going up since June last year. “We are aware that our manufacturing sector needs to be given more incentives to fuel a broad-based growth and we are working on different proposals to lift this sector and put the country on the path of industrialisation,” he said.

He told the ADB team the country had done much better on the revenue generation front where there had been nearly 75 per cent revenue growth accumulatively during the last four years and even for the current year, FBR was maintaining 18 per cent growth.

“We are practically taxing only 79 per cent of the economy which brings out tax-to-GDP ratio to almost 16 per cent,” he contended.

Xiaohong Yang said she was happy with the way Pakistan’s economy had performed during the last four years and the situation required for more incentives and pro-investment measures to strengthen these gains and ensure continuity of growth in the coming years.