Ease of doing business

IT is heartening to note that the present government is giving special emphasis to promotion of investment in the country as this is the only course through which exports can be enhanced, jobs can be created and the economy can be wriggled out of the crisis like situation. Already good news are emanating that Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which have recently extended financial relief package to the country, are contemplating major investment in the country with the Saudi investment is reported to be to the tune of ten billion dollars.
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a second meeting on the ease of doing business the other day during which he was informed that the number of taxes had been brought down from 47 to 21 to facilitate the business community. Chairman BoI Haroon Sharif also informed the meeting that a new system of value added tax refund would be in place by March which would significantly reduce time in obtaining the VAT refund, adding that efforts were also being made to improve the risk-management system to reduce the number of physical audits. It was also decided that ease of doing business offices would be set up at federal and provincial levels for the purpose of removing bottlenecks and facilitating investors for smooth business operations. Indeed all these are important steps and a step in the right direction to encourage the investors – the domestic or the foreign – to invest in different sectors of the economy. Nonetheless, the government also needs to give the energy situation and their tariffs more serious consideration if it really wants to attract maximum investment from different sources. The people are once again plagued with the power and gas crisis whilst increase in their tariffs will also hinder efforts directed towards industrialization. There is need to immediately address the bottlenecks in the energy sector and reduce their tariff so that the products produced domestically are also competitive at the international markets. This is the path through which we can enhance our exports and earn valuable foreign exchange.

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