Growth rate to hit six per cent

Haroon Akhtar seeks businessmen help to widen tax net

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Haroon Akhtar Khan has said that business friendly policies of the government has resulted in rapid economic development and the country will achieve growth rate of six percent by the elections. Low tax-to-GDP ratio is hampering development for which we are trying best while enhanced transparency has been ensured in the FBR. He said this while speaking to the business community at the newly-constructed building of FPCCI in Islamabad. Chairman FBR Nisar Muhammad Khan, President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam and others were also present on the occasion.
Haroon Akhtar said that USA is super power because of a good tax system while Europe is considered developed due to good taxation therefore Pakistani business community should also discharge obligation so that Pakistan can develop with a fast pace. He said that a lot of incidents of tax evasion are being reported but we opt for legal action in very few cases. Those who pay tax after detection face no action at all, he added. Business friendly government is collection tax on one-fourth of the real value of property while a number of sectors including fertiliser have been given tax breaks which has resulted in good growth, he informed. He said that all the international institutions continue to praise our economic policies, private sector off-take has multiplied, interest rates are at the lowest while lenders like Asian Development Bank is ready to provide loan on less than two percent which indicate its confidence on Pakistani policies.
Government has not transferred burden of improved oil prices to the masses since five months resulting in lowest oil prices in the region, he said, adding that investment and fund transfer to other countries is getting difficult therefore business community should invest in their own country.
Khan said that those who say that foreign debt will swell to 110 billion dollars have overlooked certain facts like the GDP, investment and exports will also take a boost. Debt-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan is at comfortable level of 20 percent while average interest payable on debt is three percent which is not worrying, he informed.
He lauded the services of President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam for making FPCCI Capital House in Islamabad operational, which is a facility of international standard. “We will have frequent interaction with the business community for collective good”, said Khan.

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