Federal Budget ignores cost of production, capital market

Amanullah Khan

Karachi—The Federal Budget 2016-17 presented by the Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar with leaning towards agriculture, exports and industrial sectors yet the trade and industry felt that the most important element of cost of production essentially needed for growth has been ignored in the budget.
Arif Habib, Chairman Arif Habib Group of Companies while commenting on the federal budget 2016-17 described it as a pro-agriculture and pro-export budget, however, the expectations for incentives for the capital market which is the most effective source of capitalisation has been ignored. As a whole the agriculture which is the backbone of the economy as well as the export segments of economy would benefit from the budgetary proposals, said Arif Habib.
Contrary to the hopes of getting incentives in terms of capital gain tax, capital value tax, and withholding or other incentives much need to accelerate capitalization in the economy has been completely ignored undermining the significant role of the capital market contributing highest number of revenue in the economy, he observed. Arif Habib who is one the leading corporate figure felt that the budget also ignored the cost of production aspects and unless the cost of input is not rationalised it seems difficult to attract investment which is the key to generate economic activity as well as to overcome unemployment and poverty level in the country.
As far as the agriculture sector is concerned the finance minister in his budget speech said that the agriculture sector is set to grow by 3.5 per cent while the industrial sector by 7.7 per cent during the fiscal year 2016-17. The agriculture sector is targeted to grow by 3.5 per cent on the basis of expected contributions of important crops (2.5 per cent), other crops (3.2 per cent), cotton ginned (2.5 per cent), livestock (4 per cent), fishery (3 per cent) and forestry (3 per cent). It may be noted that the federal budget 2016-17, declared GDP growth at 4.7 per cent, highest in past eight years.

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