Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to increase the budget of education and health and give incentives to manufacturing companies in order to reduce bill of imports and make Pakistan a manufacturing nation, in coming national budget of 2018 – 19.
The meeting was held yesterday on the theme: “National budget 2018 – 19, foreign loans and self-reliance”, presided over by Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi at a local club. Mrs. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan was also present at the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Zafar Iqbal, President, Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (SAMEA) said that small and medium enterprises were the back bone of a country and engine of its economy, involving 80 per cent labor force and having a share of 40 per cent of GDP. So it was advisable to give special incentives to this sector for the overall development of the nation, he added.
‘SAMEs should be exempted from the collateral condition of 3 million rupees and the range of loan be extended up to Rs.10 million; annually income of Rs. 1.2 million be exempted from taxation, rates of sales tax be fixed at 5 per cent and withholding tax be charged on cash withdrawal of Rs. 100,000; discreet powers of tax officials be abolished and austerity measures on national level be taken forthwith’, he suggested.
Mr. Usama Qureshi, Managing Director and CEO, Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Pakistan said that items, being imported in the country, should be localized as many as possible and be made locally in order to reduce huge imports — a heavy burden on national exchequer. Those manufacturers that could produce the same items should be encouraged and supported by the government to make Pakistan a manufacturing nation, he added.‘New energy sources should be explored and developed locally to curb the import bill — oil bill, which is equally a big burden on national economy, and right people be deployed on right places in government departments to boost the level of governance’, Mr. Qureshi concluded.
Justice (Rtd) Haziqul Khairi was of the view that it was the repeated demand of the Hamdard Shura that tax on agricultural income be imposed in coming national budget.
Justice (Rtd) Pervez Zia said that circumstances of agriculture sector were miserable as formers did get water, seeds and organic fertilizer on time and they faced many difficulties in selling their produce and such people were being asked by you to pay agricultural tax.
Maj. General (Rtd) Sikandar Hayat, highlighting the importance of steelmaking, said that steelmaking was not a commercial business, but a strategic business. No doubt, there were some bad things developed in Pakistan Steel, but it was mostly the result of corruption and mismanagement. It was a good unit of 1.2 million ton capacity of steel making which could have risen to 3 million ton. But it became the victim of wrong policies as our policy makers were deaf and blind who could not take right decision on right time to save Steel Mill.
Engineer Anwarul Haq Siddiqui was of the opinion that scientific management was the only answer to the difficulties and economic illness facing by the country. In a country of 80 million of voters there were only 1.2 million tax payers, he lamented.
Commodore (Rtd) Sadeed Anwar Malik said that socio-political stability was must for strengthening the economy and strikes, riots and dharnas played a negative role and stopped the wheel of economy.