ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing a gathering of traders on Monday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is addressing a gathering of traders on Monday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged traders to play their part in the country’s prosperity by paying taxes.

Addressing traders at the Prime Minister House, he assured traders that their money will not be wasted.

Sharing his own example, he said “we reduced the expenses of the PM House by 40 per cent.”

“I live in my own home, pay my own expenses. My salary is not enough to fulfil my own household expenses.”

The premier also said his expenses on foreign trips were 10 times less than what was being spent by leaders before him.

“I’m just saying that I am starting with myself. There should be a realisation about the need to respect public money,” he added, while seeking the business community’s support to raise the country out of the crisis. “Nations only rise when the whole country is united. The government alone can’t do it,” he said.

The premier explained that during the first year of his government, half of the amount collected in taxes went towards payment of interests on loans acquired by the previous governments. “And yet, we allocated Rs190 billion for the Ehsaas programme,” he said.

He also pointed out efforts carried out by his team to improve business conditions, saying “we are continuously trying to figure out how to remove obstacles in the way of business community.”

Ease licensing requirement

Meanwhile, he also directed provincial governments to do away with cumbersome multiple licensing requirements for initiation of small businesses.

Khan said that his team is working on various options to make business initiation process simpler for small business owners.

He expressed concerns over requirement of licenses for grocery, cloth and bakery businesses etc that were creating difficulties for common man.

He asked the concerned departments to eliminate 74 unnecessary licenses within 30 days.

He also asked officials to simplify the process for acquiring these licenses and introduce automated system by employing modern technology.

On inflation, he said several measures have already been taken by the government to overcome this challenge.

Talking to a delegation of newly-elected presidents of chambers of commerce and industries from across the country in Islamabad, PM Khan said the government has decided to make Pakistan an industrial power house and it will provide all possible assistance to help industrialists achieve that goal.

He appreciated the delegation’s keen interest to invest in information technology, halal food and pharmaceutical sectors and issued directions to relevant ministries to provide all possible facilities in this regard.

He also directed Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Shabbar Zaidi to hold an open house every Monday to listen and address industrialists’ problems.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2020