Presiding over a meeting on Saturday, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that increasing electricity and gas tariffs is the only way left and at this point, the government can’t provide subsidies.
He said that the financial position of the government is weak and hence unable to bear any extra expenditure. The public has to cooperate until things take a pleasant turn.
“No sector is willing to pay tax, that’s plainly deplorable,” the PM’s adviser said.
On this occasion, leading industrialists and traders also presented suggestions and plans for the betterment of the economy.
Gohar Ejaz, leader of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), told the gathering about the discouraging condition of the business sector. He asked that there should be zero duty on industries.
Earlier on Saturday the finance adviser had reiterated that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s top priority is to give relief to the common man in the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.
Speaking to a delegation of businessmen, he said tough decisions are being made by the government to steer the country out of the prevalent economic distress.
Dr Shiakh said that the country is expected to get $2-3 billion in loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank at low interest rates following the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a $6 billion package.
“The government is bringing a long-term policy for economic stability,” he maintained, adding that the country is heading towards economic prosperity. He said when the PTI took charge of the government, the country’s economic situation was in shambles.
The PTI government is due to present the budget for the financial year 2019-20 on June 11.
According to Special Assistant Firdous Ashiq Awan, the PM’s Adviser on Finance Hafeez Shaikh and his team presented the finance bill –closely linked to PTI’s vision— in a meeting of the federal cabinet.
As per the budget plan elaborated by Awan, the government desires to steer the economy on to the path of stabilisation, which is the foremost priority. She, however, said that detailed briefing will be given by Shaikh himself.
“Our focus will be the stabilisation of the economy, managing external deficit by decreasing imports, reduction of fiscal deficit through revenue mobilisation and expenditure control, setting the path for public debt reduction,” she said.
She said that the way forward devised and put into action by the government’s economic team has stabilised the value of the rupee and that uncertainty and “rumour factories” which had brought instability to the economy have been shut down.
“Positive indicators have begun to emerge. The stock exchange has contributed and behaved positively and ultimately is making new records.” It may be mentioned here after weeks of bloodbath, the PSX that gained over 2,000 points last week has started shedding again: it lost 748 points on Tuesday.
“The government’s purpose in this budget is to create a platform for growth because job opportunities are linked to growth and only when growth increases will job opportunities grow,” she said, adding the government would keep the condition of poorer segments of the society in mind while laying down new budget.
She was the government would ensure that the common man won’t be adversely affected in the upcoming budget.