KARACHI: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has urged the private sector to do away with the past practices and play its due role in economic development.
The adviser said this while addressing ‘The Future Summit’ on Wednesday through a video link where he shared his thoughts on the topic titled ‘The Future of Pakistan’.
Shedding light on the importance of public-private partnerships, the adviser said the government has limited capacity and finds it hard to generate funds, so it is imperative for the private sector to join in and support the government.
“The incumbent government has been giving all sorts of benefits to exporters, including elimination of tariffs and subsidies, only to encourage the private sector to step up its efforts for economic growth,” the PM’s aide said, adding that a market determined exchange rate is favourable for exports.
He said while the government wants the private sector to grow, it also has to save public interest, which could only be done through stringent regulation.
“The government is trying to develop the State Bank, SECP, competition commission and other regulatory authorities. Development and future of the economy depends on doing many things right. The government is committed to putting the country on a sensible growth trajectory and design incentives in the right way.”
He maintained that the PTI government is different [from the previous govts], as it is not interested in amassing wealth or acting in self-interest, nor does it aim for anything other than bringing prosperity for the country.
Shaikh also shared details regarding “unprecedented reforms” introduced by the present government. He said that the primary and current account balance are positive for the first time; the government returned Rs5,000 billion of foreign loans in two years; gave Rs250 billion in tax refunds to businesses allowing more liquidity; introduced lucrative packages for export promotion and special packages for SMEs.
He said the Rs1.2 trillion package given by the government during Covid-19 pandemic is an example of the incumbent regime being sensitive to the sufferings of the people. He said that the private sector has to take the lead role in providing services and employment in the markets. “This is the only way towards sustainable development,” the adviser concluded.