• 4m households to be supported
• Minister says around Rs400bn worth of interest-free loans to be offered
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided in principle to launch ‘Kamyab Pakistan Programme’ this month under which four million households would be assisted in various schemes.
The programme appears to be one of the major initiatives taken by the government for the poor segment of society ahead of next elections.
Talking to Dawn on Saturday, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said: “We have finalised every aspect of this programme, and it would be launched in mid-July.”
Detailing some of the features of the programme, he said it aimed at providing support to people in housing projects, skill development, health cards and interest-free loans for businesses and agri-services.
However, he made it clear that the targets would be achieved over a period of time and not in one year.
The minister said approximately Rs300 billion to Rs400bn interest-free loans would be given in the current fiscal year 2021-22, adding that the amount had also been budgeted to provide subsidy against interest-free loans.
The minister said ‘Kamyab Jawan’ would be a part of this programme.
About broadening of tax base, Mr Tarin said a strategy was being devised to bring 7.2 million people under the tax net. The strategy will be finalised soon, however, no taxpayer would be harassed, he added.
He said the point of sales programme would be extended to maximum traders in the current fiscal year.
Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin stressed the importance of long-term planning to achieve sustainable and all-inclusive economic growth.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had reconstituted the EAC after decades with an objective to draw up concrete proposals for sustainable economic growth through comprehensive and seamless planning and by taking all stakeholders on board.
During the third meeting of the EAC, four sub-groups gave their presentations on State-Owned Enterprises and Privatisation, Energy, Domestic Commerce and Price Stability.
Special Assistant on Finance and Revenue Dr Waqar Masood Khan gave a detailed presentation on price stability which included short-term, medium-term and long-term proposals to bring price stability in the country.
He drew a comparative analysis between prices prevailing in Pakistan and those in the entire region – both in current and historical perspectives.
Zaid Bashir, in his presentation on ‘Domestic Commerce Sector’, underlined the need to enrich and revive documented/integrated sectors and fully realise the true potential of e-commerce during the short term by bringing retailers into a more organised environment, ultimately benefitting the national exchequer.
Tax credit on enlistment of companies and to incentivise the induction of women in workforce were suggested as part of medium-term plans whereas financing facility for growth of the retailers and tax adjustability were suggested as part of a long-term strategy to promote domestic commerce sector.
In his presentation on energy (power) sector, Farooq Rehmatullah highlighted global, regional and local trends in the refining sectors.
The presentation also included recommendations for bringing in sustainable solutions to streamline operations from oil downstream to marketing sectors.
Mr Rehmatullah gave suggestions to deal with challenges faced by the LPG, exploration and production sectors and to explore renewable energy resources in Pakistan.
Sultan Ali Allana, meanwhile, spoke on ‘State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)’ while the privatisation secretary, Hassan Nasir Jamy, updated the EAC on privatisation.
Mr Allana’s presentation emphasised the importance of continued review of SOEs’ portfolio and highlighted steps for their better management.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Minister for Privatisation Mohammadmian Soomro and Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood, finance and privatisation secretaries and SBP deputy governor also attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2021