PM Shehbaz decides to abolish taxes on raw materials for export industries

Published June 8, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meeting a delegation from the American Business Council on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy: APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meeting a delegation from the American Business Council on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy: APP

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed authorities to abolish all taxes on raw materials used in the export industry and form task forces to attract investment in multiple sectors.

The Shehbaz government has been trying to set up a long-term plan to revive the ailing economy, with the premier yesterday repeating his call to boost exports to ease the burgeoning cash crunch.

According to state-run APP, the premier met a delegation from the American Business Council comprising representatives from pharmaceuticals, food processing, IT, e-commerce, retail, textile, sports, and logistics sectors. It was also attended by federal ministers Syed Naveed Qamar, Makhdoom Murtaza Mahmood, and Marriyum Aurangzeb.

The prime minister ordered task forces formed to attract investments in multiple sectors. Task forces will be formed in the fields of tourism, pharmaceuticals, information technology, e-commerce, large-scale manufacturing, and agriculture.

He told the delegation that the government was making efforts to ensure the production of export quality agricultural products.

For the first time, he said, the government was calling for consistency of policies as the "subjects of the national economy and public welfare are above politics".

The prime minister further directed the secretary of commerce as well as the secretary of the Board of Investment to ensure immediate resolution of the issues faced by the investors and sought a compliance report within a week.

On the other hand, state media reported that business representatives said that government policies helped them revive investors’ trust and called the pre-budget consultation with stakeholders a "welcome step".

Ahead of the budget announcement on June 10, PM Shehbaz had invited all stakeholders to put their heads together to cement a long-term plan to revive the ailing economy on Tuesday. The day-long pre-budget huddle was attended by top industrialists, agriculturists, and economists, who gave suggestions to steer the country out of an unprecedented economic crisis.

During the conference, the premier promised them that their suggestions floated would be considered and separate plans would be made for agricultural, industrial, and financial growth.

PM Shehbaz also highlighted that without economic stability, political stability could not be achieved and said that it was about time the elite class had to make sacrifices and non-productive assets like real estate would have to be taxed.

He urged industrialists to go for renewable energy and capitalise on the country’s huge reserves of coal for power generation.

The prime minister also stressed the need for curtailing imports and increasing exports, assuring participants of the government’s all-out support in expanding the local industry and removing all hindrances and red tape.

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