LAHORE: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Mian Anjum Nisar has called for lowering of import duty on smuggling prone items, increasing the share of direct taxes in revenue and decreasing the slab of indirect taxes to achieve key economic targets set for the year 2020-21.
“Both export as well as the local industries should be facilitated. Rules, regulations and procedures for industrial sectors should be easy so that it could play its due role in economic stability of the country,” he added while talking to reporters here.
He recommended more incentives for overseas Pakistanis to further escalate foreign remittances, besides enhancing investment in the country by Pakistani expatriates, as the inflow of foreign currencies by overseas Pakistanis has slowed down in Aug from the record high of the previous two months though remaining strong at over $2 billion.
He said that if the government assists overseas Pakistanis and provides them incentives, they can play a pivotal role in boosting Pakistan’s economy through their remittances and investments for socio-economic prosperity.
“The FPCCI is happy that the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) has started giving results following the reopening of businesses in major countries of Europe, the US and the Middle East, leading to improvement in remittances’ inflow for the third consecutive month from June to Aug contrary to the anticipation of 12 percent drop in remittances to five Asian nations, including Pakistan, in the second half of 2020 by the top global credit rating agencies,” he observed.
Mian Anjum Nisar observed that the government’s presents efforts are appreciable, announcing incentives for global and domestic banks and remittance-transferring firms to make the inflow of foreign currencies faster, cheaper and more convenient under the PRI.
It is good step that the government has allowed overseas Pakistanis to open and maintain bank accounts in local and foreign currencies in Pakistan through mobile and internet banking under the new Digital Account initiative, which will definitely improve the inflow of workers’ remittances and foreign exchange reserves through the digital account, he added.
He said that foreign remittances flows are the only hope which can support the current account balance, as the GDP growth is expected to decelerate in FY21 amidst low volumes of foreign direct investment declining trend of exports which have dipped by almost 20 percent in August.
The FPCCI President warned that high workers’ remittances in June-Aug have been received on the back of temporary factors, including the impact of lockdown restrictions on transferring funds.
Remittances remained high, as overseas Pakistanis continued to send money through formal banking channels in absence of parallel illegal channels like Hundi and Hawala and temporary suspension of international flights amidst Covid-19.