At a time when Pakistan is faced with immense economic challenges, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has come out with a resolute promise of long-term reforms to drive economic betterment. He made this affirmation during budget related talks with various business delegations on Saturday.
It is appreciable that finance minister is holding extensive negotiations with business community ahead of the budget. We hope this will prove to be instrumental in setting the direction right. Addressing genuine concerns of entrepreneurs is quite important to put the country on right economic path. As regards long-term reforms, these were ignored in the past and the result is that today we are in a serious debt trap. Therefore, these across the board economic reforms, though painful and difficult, have become need of the hour to fix long-standing issues. Though government has taken some difficult decisions such as increasing gas and electricity tariffs, yet a lot more needs to be done. There is a dire need to check bleeding in the economy. Losses of state owned enterprises needs to be checked through a professional approach, either by reviving them or through privatisation.
Major reforms are required in the FBR in order to bring all potential sectors into the tax net. It is unfortunate that we have a very low tax to GDP ratio when compared with regional countries. We will have to focus on increasing it without any expediency and succumbing to pressures. We have to enhance our revenues if we want to bring genuine economic transformation in the country. These long term reforms must prioritise fostering an environment that nurtures innovation, rewards creativity and supports entrepreneurs. By simplifying business registration processes, promoting start-ups and providing incentives for research and development, the economic team can pave the way for a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that will enable birth of new industries, boost productivity and create a culture of innovation that can fuel economic growth in the long run. Though current dispensation is left with little time in office, yet we believe that Finance Minister and his team will come up with robust long-term roadmap. There should also be a consensus amongst political leadership that whosoever forms the next government will implement it for sustainable growth.