Monday, December 5
Shadow

Govt considering tax waiver for exporting entities, Miftah tells summit

ISLAMABAD: The government is considering promoting exports of the country at an aggressive level through an incentive of significant tax waiver to companies which could enhance their exports by 10% of its productions.

This was stated by Dr Miftah Ismail, Minister of Finance while addressing as a chief guest at the two-day 5th Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit held at a local hotel on Wednesday. The Summit is being jointly hosted by Nutshell Conferences Group and Martin Dow Group, in strategic partnership with OICCI – Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said the government should provide full support to companies having plans for exporting their products to different countries because it is a daunting task which must be taken as a challenge.

Various business groups in Pakistan are performing outstandingly and contributing to the national economy through taxes and different ways but they spend $200 million on imports every year which needs to be addressed by enhancing our exports, he said. Hence, the government is also mulling enhancing the super tax from 4% to 5% on companies.

The country should set the direction to the promotion of exports from imports substitution, which actually did not yield the desired results in the past but provided duty protection to an elite class. Businesses in Pakistan should think beyond the local market to explore foreign markets to enhance their exports through aggressive value-addition.

Miftah said the country must contain its expenses and imports in accordance with our essential needs which can stabilize the budget deficit including the trade deficit and current account deficit in tandem.

The deficit has grown to double in the last four to five years surging over to Rs 4,500 billion in the last financial year but the present government is trying to cap the deficit at Rs. 4,000 billion in the current financial year 2022-23.

The government could not enhance the export overnight but it can control imports of non-essential goods which resulted in inflows of foreign exchange to the tune of $700-800 million in the interbank market in the last few months while the country also paid its scheduled debt-servicing in the first week of August.

The country needs to enhance its farm production through improving efficiencies and introducing innovations in the system which will ultimately reduce the poverty while empowering the poor masses in the rural area.

Last but not least, Pakistan should educate its kids for a better future of the country which must be our prime responsibility and common goal. In this regard, the private sector should also join hands with the government to set up schools for kids and girls.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rahman said climate change is a matter of national security which have affected adversely food and energy security, supply chain, infrastructure, and precious lives of the citizens across the country.

One-fifth of Pakistan is underwater at present due to heavy monsoon rains which wreaked havoc on the infrastructure in many parts of the country including Balochistan and Sindh, she mentioned. Besides, Pakistan is among the hottest places on the earth for the last three years.

Pakistan is at the frontlines or ground zero of climate change though disaster preparedness is far better than many countries making recoveries very slowly. Senator said the business should revamp the operational model which must be incorporated the factor of climate and environment-friendly business practices. Industries should introduce targets for green tech and green plans in their systems.

Given the pace of climate change, we have requested to shift our developments and mega planning to 2030 instead of 2050 which was set earlier as per global standards because Pakistan’s situation is different from many countries in the world.

The pace of the climate crisis is far more accelerated than forecasted earlier by scientists and environmentalists which actually failed in their suggested plans for the planet, she remarked. Climate catastrophe is a globally made every country is behind addressing the targets of carbon emission besides a few in Western Europe, Senator said.

Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder of Nutshell Group and CORPORATE PAKISTAN GROUP said Pakistan has been blessed with all prerequisites for a successful economy including natural and human resources including different seasons and a flourishing young population however the country needs innovative ideas, out-of-boxes, creative concepts, defined wills, and norms.

Pakistan’s growing young population is a big challenge and opportunity for us hence we must equip them with the education and right skillsets to make them productive and valuable assets for the land. There are unlimited opportunities for Pakistan in every sector including investments and growth but what need is political stability in the country, which could come with collaboration in every area for the prosperity of Pakistan.

Ali Akhai, Chairman Martin Dow Group, said Pakistan is a developing country with immense potential and our youth is flooded with new ideas and investors are willing to invest in the country. Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit is the platform to share the best practices to new ideas to stand on for further business and investment opportunities.

The summit was addressed by distinguished speakers including James Michael Lafferty, CEO and Board Member, Fine Hygienic Holding, Khoo Boo Hock, Chairman, InfraZamin, Zeeshan Sheikh, Country Manager Pakistan and Afghanistan, IFC – International Finance Corporation, Hatem Bamatraf, President and CEO, PTCL Group, Malak Al Akiely, CEO, Golden Wheat for Grain Trading Limited, Aamir Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer, Jazz (VEON), Markus Strohmeier, Managing Director and CEO, Siemens Pakistan, Saquib Ahmad, Country Managing Director, SAP Pakistan.