Budget continuation of successful policies of the Government: PBIF Export target seems over optimistic, increased imports to hit forex reserves.

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June 06, 2016

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said export target in the budget is over optimistic.

The government has upward revised export target by 10.7 percent to 24.8 billion dollars which is contradictory to the target of USD 35 billion set in the export policy announced recently, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that imports have been projected to jump from 39.4 billion dollars to 45.2 billion dollars which will put economy under pressure due to reduced remittances and six percent tax imposed by Saudi Arabia on workers remittances.

He said that real reforms are necessary in the eternal sector which should begin with appointment of educated and competent officials in the export-related institutions.

Moreover, he said, ten sector-specific companies should be established to boost exports while SME sector, cottage industry, meat and poultry sector should be promoted.

Demanding zero rating for rice sector, he said that second largest export sector deserves attention and that value addition in the textile sector should be promoted while agreements regarding regional cooperation should be finalised immediately.

He also demanded a new tax authority to bring small traders into the tax net and play role in enhancing capacity of small businesses otherwise efforts to expand tax net would not work and the number of filers may drop from the current one million which were 1.6 Million in 1996.

The veteran business leader lauded the move of the government to promote agricultural sector which is providing jobs to 40 percent of the labour. This sector has developed by an average rate 2.2 percent per annum but now it will turnaround.

He said that budget is continuation of the successful policies of the incumbent government which stabilised a bankrupting economy within three years but a lot is to be done so that economy can perform according to its real potential.

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