According to newspaper reports, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has expressed the hope that his government will resolve the issues faced by the industrial sector in the country. He says that being a businessman, he understands there are problems in tax collection system which needs to be resolved to spur industrial growth. The prime minister is right in pointing out problems in the tax collection system and structural reforms are the need of the hour. There are unrealistic tax rates in the country whereas tax to GDP ratio is also the lowest in Pakistan as compared to the countries in the region. On the government side, taxes are imposed without realizing the ground realities and on the business community’s side, many are earning billions of rupees annually but they try not to pay the required amount of taxes. This leads to not only corruption, but also erodes the ability of the government to launch development projects. Inadequate generation of revenues forces the government to go to international financial institutions for loans and the move adds more troubles to the economy than any good. It is, therefore, a duty of the government to introduce tax reforms and simplify the tax collections system for the growth of economy.
The prime minister, in a meeting with a delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce, also discussed various proposals to enhance exports, introduce tax reforms, develop infrastructure and take measures to reduce trade deficit. He also promised to give incentives for the development of industrial zones in the country and will ensure the provision of uninterrupted gas and power supply. When it comes to the politicians and the government functionaries, they always depict a rosy pedicure of the economy and make unlimited promises beyond their reach and understanding. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif came to power with slogan business, business and business, but exports declined by 20 percent during his four years tenure. Now the current prime minister has only a few months left in the office, but he is also making tall claims about revival of the economy. If he only completes his tenure peacefully, it will be a great service to the nation. The current government is leaving a host of liabilities for the next government and if it avoids adding further burden of loans, it will be another service to the nation. The government still has to implement the export package announced by the former prime minister in letter and spirit.