ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasized that stability of economy and facilitating the business community is top priority of the government. He was chairing a meeting of government’s economic team in Islamabad on Saturday.
The Prime Minister directed various ministries to devise a clear mechanism based on timeline to achieve quarterly targets and accomplishments.
He also called for presenting out of the box solutions and proposals to improve the economy and to make consultations with all stakeholders in order to start implementing the workable suggestions.
Imran Khan said the baseless propaganda against the economy should be rebutted with complete facts so that people have the clear picture of past situation and current improvement.
Referring to importance of agriculture in the national economy and the steps taken by the government to revolutionize the sector, the Prime Minister said government has constituted a detailed policy for the promotion of all areas of agriculture. He said need of the hour is to apprise the people of this policy and all the related steps for their benefit.
Imran Khan said promotion of small and medium enterprises is among the priorities of the government.
He said special attention should be paid on revival of plants and sick units that were closed due to mismanagement and financial problems of the past. He called for a vibrant role of CIRC and improving the coordination between all stakeholders including National Bank, State Bank and other institutions to devise a course of action for the revival of sick units.
Referring to steps taken by the government for promotion of construction sector, the Prime Minister said the proposal to declare construction sector an industry and the imposition of fixed tax on construction activities in the large cities is being finalized in order to remove obstacles in this regard.
Imran Khan directed the Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Authority to also consider a proposal for a financial incentives package to promote the construction of apartments and encouraging investment in this area.
The government team gave a comprehensive briefing to the Prime Minister on steps taken for improvement and stability of economy and their impacts.
The meeting was informed that positive results have been witnessed as a result of measures taken by the government. These include increase in exports, 38 percent decrease in trade deficit in first two months of current fiscal year, improved tax collection, increased tax net and acceleration in private business activities.
Chairman FBR apprised the Prime Minister that tax collection has significantly been improved in recent months. The Prime Minister appreciated the performance of Chairman FBR.
Minister for Planning and Development briefed the meeting on progress relating to implementation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
The Prime Minister while expressing satisfaction on implementation of CPEC said this project is not only a reflection of Pak-China friendship but it will have positive impacts on national and regional economy.
Governor State Bank of Pakistan while giving a briefing to the meeting said during meetings with exporters, they have not only expressed full confidence on government policies but also presented various proposals for export related industry which are being considered.
Finance Secretary apprised the meeting that Special Secretary Finance Omar Hamid Khan has been assigned the responsibility of spokesperson for important ministries relating to economy and a media cell has been set up at Ministry of Finance for this purpose.
The Prime Minister directed to play a vibrant role for dissemination of information about economy so that people are protected against wrong information spread by misleading elements.
Prominent among those who attended meeting includes Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Federal Minister for Planning Khusro Bukhtiar, Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser on Reforms Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Special Assistant Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant Yousaf Baig Mirza, chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Society, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Chairman Ehsas Program Dr. Sania Nishtar and other senior officials.