PM directs EAC against imposing more taxes

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday chaired a meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) and directed them against overburdening the masses with more taxes.

Heading the meeting of the restructured EAC, the prime minister said that rather than imposing new taxes, out-of-the-box solutions should be proposed for providing relief to the masses.

He directed the EAC members including Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, economic experts and others to present long, medium and short term road maps of important sectors of the economy including energy, construction, price stability, agriculture, tourism, social protection, subsidies, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), remittances. 

He said that the council should remain fully functional for making suggestions on economic issues and further consult with the experts for recommendations on improving economic activities in the country.

The prime minister said that the government’s measures have improved the business environment besides also boosting investor confidence. “We are eyeing to devise economic strategies in consultation with the business sector in order to ensure their sustainability,” he said while adding that reforms in the tax system to further simplify it was among the top priority of the government.

The PM also sought suggestions from EAC members to further organise public private partnership.

According to the handout, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Revenue Dr Waqar Masood gave a detailed presentation and outlined key priority areas for productive discussion including sustained and inclusive economic growth, employment generation, price stability mechanism, tax reforms, housing sector, ease of doing business, pension reforms, rationalization of subsidies, food security, revamping power and energy sectors, social protection network, health and improvement in overall governance. 

Ministers briefed the committee about the initiatives taken and progress made in their respective areas while private members of the EAC also gave their valuable input regarding strengthening the blue economy, need for road-to-market infrastructure development, import substitution, mechanized farming, gender-sensitive employment initiatives, harmonizing tax and tariff structures, climate change, SMEs, and streamlining circular debt and other power related issues.

The finance minister underscored the importance of provincial participation in concerned areas for working out holistic solutions to the current economic problems.

In his concluding remarks, he stated that there is a need to instill confidence and build public sentiment for sustainable and all-inclusive economic growth.



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