‘Govt striving to transform Pakistan into an investment-driven economy’

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ISLAMABAD: The government is striving to shift the country’s economy from a consumption-driven to an investment-driven economy, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday.

The adviser stressed upon the need to capitalise on Pakistan China Free Trade Agreement Phase-II. “The Chinese companies are coming to Pakistan and we must take complete advantage of this relocation,” he asserted.

Talking to a delegation of the All Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Presidents Convention, Dawood said all possible measures would be taken to enhance the exports of the country, as promotion of Pakistani products is among the top priorities of the government.

The meeting discussed tax-related proposals for the upcoming federal budget 2019-20. Senior officials of the Ministry of Commerce and National Tariff Commission were also present on the occasion.

The delegation requested that all raw materials must attract zero or low customs duties, adding that the government must eliminate regularity duties and additional customs duties on raw material so that the local industry may be able to compete with regional and global competitors.

“Customs’ duties on intermediary products should be reduced so that the industry may be able to import quality materials, components and machinery from the rest of the world,” the delegation proposed.

The delegation also highlighted the issue of non-payment of refunds, as “it is drying out liquidity from the markets”. It suggested that the benefit of refunds payment through promissory note should be extended to all sectors, including five zero-rated sectors.

The adviser said that the government’s main objective is to promote industrialization in the country. He said that various measures were taken in the Reforms Package 2019 in which duties were reduced to zero on certain raw materials. Moreover, he added, the government is pursuing business-friendly policies and offering various incentives for promotion of ease of doing business in the country by removing outdated and restrictive regulations.

Dawood assured the delegation that the government would extend complete support to strengthen the local industry, as indigenous growth is essential for a strong economy.

“More manufacturing will result in more revenues,” he added.

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