Govt focusing on ‘inclusive and sustainable’ economic growth
Mohammad Arshad Islamabad
In a bid to provide maximum relief to the common man, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has announced that the federal government would not impose new taxes in the budget 2021-22.
While addressing a budget seminar on Sunday afternoon, Shukat Tarin said that power tariffs won’t be increased in the future, saying those paying taxes won’t be burdened with more taxes. “Our priority is to achieve the targets for stable progress.”
“We consulted economic experts for economic improvement,” he said and added, “It’s essential to increase exports to improve the economy.”
The government’s first priority, Tarin maintained, is to bring an improvement in the energy sector, while the power tariff won’t be increased in the future.
“When we came into power, the economy was faced with a severe crisis, but premier took major decisions and took prioritised measures to increase the value of rupee.”
The minister added that, “The [government] faced difficulties in the journey of economic revival.
Despite Covid, we ensured an uplift of the construction sector and made over 40 associated industries active.
”He further said that the government increased the revenue as well, collecting a record over Rs4 trillion this year.
However, Tarin added that the government was trying to reduce circular debt. “In the next budget, we will try to announce [more] measures for the agricultural sector. Farmer-friendly policies are ensuring development in the sector.”
Concluding, the minister said, “We won’t impose more taxes on those who pay taxes, whereas those involved in tax theft will be put in jails. Such people will be located through modern technology and power bills.”
On May 19, it emerged that the government has decided to create new categories of electricity tariffs for consumers in a bid to reduce the volume of subsidy. The decision is likely to be implemented from June 1, 2021.
Shaukat Tarin stressed the need to focus on the country’s economic growth, saying the Economic Advisory Council had been tasked with devising long-term, medium-term and short-term plans and roadmaps for growth in 12 major sectors.
Tarin said since the government lacked resources to invest in the growth of all sectors, it had decided to focus on 12 major areas, including agriculture, housing and power, which would put the country on the road to “inclusive and sustainable growth”.
“What we want … is inclusive and sustainable growth over a long period of time,” he said, regretting that Pakistan had never seen a long period of sustainable growth except in the 60s.
Therefore, he said he had asked the EAC to identify factors that hampered long-term economic growth in Pakistan.
Announcing that steps would also be taken to empower the planning commission, Tarin said it would lead to “planned growth” and give a roadmap that could be followed by not just the current government but also subsequent governments.
“It is a hallmark. Countries that have grown economically have had a consistent planning process,” he noted.
“Our focus has shifted to economic growth and to grow the economy, revenues would have to be increased first.” Tarin further said he aimed to increase next year’s revenue collection to Rs5.8 trillion.