ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has issued directives for the preparation of a comprehensive plan to simplify procedures related to government approvals.
He als called for addressing the taxation issues and taking measures to facilitate investors and businesses, Radio Pakistan reported.
PM Khan was chairing a meeting on Thursday to review the progress of improving the ease of doing business and creating an enabling environment to facilitate the conversion of local and foreign investors’ interests into actual investments.
During the meeting, it was decided that the premier would chair a review meeting on the ‘ease of doing business in the country’ every month.
Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif briefed the meeting that efforts were being done to revive the confidence of the private sector in government policies and put in place a framework to facilitate the business community.
According to the report, the BoI chairman said the board was working as an “agent of change” to facilitate business transactions, remove impediments in the way of the materialisation of investors’ interests into actual investments and for the “smooth functioning” of businesses in the country.
According to Radio Pakistan, Sharif also briefed PM Khan on various issues that were being faced by the business community including taxation, access to finance, regulation, policy issues and “red-tapism”.
Sharif said that the BoI was actively working with the provincial governments and the relevant ministries to remove barriers in the way of establishing Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
He further informed the premier about the ‘Naya Pakistan Diaspora Fund’ which was being set up to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and rural development in the key areas of education, health, and infrastructure development.
The BoI chairman also shared information about the investment framework which has been structured to attract and materialise investment from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, and Malaysia.
Later in the day, while addressing the Pakistan Economic Forum in Islamabad, Prime Minister Khan said wealth creation was necessary to take the country forward. The premier said his vision was to make Pakistan a “financially viable and economically self-reliant country, by getting rid of the dependency syndrome”, Radio Pakistan reported.
He said a change in mindset was required where making money legally is not considered a sin, but tax evasion and laundering money is. “When businesses prosper, the country progresses,” he said.
Khan said an office would be made in the PM secretariat with the purpose of reducing the hindrances in doing businesses and make the process simpler and easier.
“A business-friendly culture would be introduced in the country and businessmen will be encouraged to invest their capital in various sectors,” he said, adding that the focus was to improve the competitiveness of products to grab the major share of exports in world markets.
PM Khan added that the government has introduced policies to facilitate the export industry. He said money laundering and smuggling harm the country and steps were being taken to discourage these practices.