IUB organize webinar on pre-budget discussion

BAHAWALPUR: A webinar on “Pre-Budget Discussion” organized by the Institute of Business Management and Administrative Sciences, the Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) held here on Thursday.

Prof Dr Jawad Iqbal Dean Faculty of the Management Sciences Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Prof Dr Usman Mustafa from Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) Islamabad, Associate Professor Dr Ashfaq Ahmad from Punjab University Lahore, Associate Professor Dr Asad Afzal Humayon from COMSATS University Islamabad were among the speakers of the webinar.

Dr Muhammad Imran Rasheed hosted the webinar whereas a large number of participants from the teachers, students, academicians, and scholars attended the event. The participants discussed several points regarding the upcoming budget from the Federal government of Pakistan for the year 2021-22. Participants discussed that despite the very adverse impact of pandemic COVID-19, the government had done wonderfully in achieving its budget targets and for the first time in the history of the country that the government has collected more than a 4000billion rupees of taxes.

The exports had increased in last year, remittances had increased to historical levels, the FDI had increased, and the stock exchange was doing wonderful and achieving new records every other day. However, despite these positive aspects of the economy in the last year, inflation was rising and imports had also increased to a dangerous level. They specifically appreciated the government for the inclusion of Pakistan into AMAZON’s seller list which was likely to boost e-commerce in the country.

The participants discussed that it was good to see that the government had set a new historical highest target for the revenue collection in the country. The government had announced to bring export friendly policies and to introduce a business-friendly environment. The government had also announced a subsidy to the housing sector which will not only boost the housing sector in the economy of Pakistan but it will also flourish many other related industries in the country including cement, steel, electrical equipment, tiles, furniture, and others.

The government had also announced a special youth loan policy which will hopefully flourish the new businesses in Pakistan and will boost entrepreneurship and innovation. Setting a 900billion rupees development budget was also expected to push the economy forward. The participants were of the view that the government should not only allocate a budget for the institutions but it should also work on enhancing capacity building of the institutions in the country. The institutions have to be made able to spend the allocated budget effectively. For this purpose, the government should increase the role of academia in the economic development of Pakistan. The higher educational institutions should be allocated more budgets and should be involved in policy making for the country.

Participants were of the view that the current century is the century of the “Knowledge Economy”. The government should therefore divert its attention towards making Pakistan a knowledge economy by spending more on education, science, and technology. Though it’s a wonderful sign that the present government had brought 200,000 new people to the tax net but the government had to do a lot in this sector, as participants argued that increasing the tax rate was not a solution but the government will have to increase the number of taxpayers to achieve its revenue collection targets.