Published Date: Jan 29, 2019
Govt to present Economic Reform Bill in Parliament on Friday, Senator Mian Ateeq
Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh of MQM said that the economic reform package was not a mini-budget and not a single tax was proposed in the bill. He said that given the current difficult economic situation, the government is preparing to present the economic reform bill on the floor of the house on Friday, where amendments sought by the opposition will also be incorporated.
He expressed these views during a public seminar titled ‘Economy of Pakistan: A Public Perspective’, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here at Islamabad.
Senator Mian Ateeq said that the economic reform bill was needed to redress the long due issues and concerns of the business community and stock market and revive investors’ confidence in the economy. He said that over the period, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) failed to develop its capacity to improve and simplify the taxation system.
Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq of PML-N said that investors’ confidence was relatively at the lowest level during the last few months because the incumbent government lacks preparation. She said that this second supplementary finance bill was an attempt to gain political popularity. “The government failed to provide the net revenue impact of this supplementary reforms bill”, said Ayesha Raza, adding that the reform bill aims to provide incentives to big businesses which offer nothing to the general public. She further added that the reform package, in fact, offers amnesty scheme to a certain favorite class in order to protect and provide legal cover to their assets abroad.
Former president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI), Shaban Khalid said that the supplementary economic reforms bill offers some hope, as there was fundamental recognition to promote manufacturing industry over trading alone. He said that a manufacturer pays a much higher tax than a trader, which should be given due importance. Shaban Khalid termed this bill a positive step in the right direction which will help the business community to spur their manufacturing activities.
Mubarak Zaib Khan Senior Journalist while lamenting the past PML-N economic performance said that the current government has no economic plan and adopting the same old practices with slight amendments to oblige its own people. He said that this government lacks seriousness and direction to take the economy on the path of sustains growth and development.
Moazzam S Bhatti, Director Advocacy and Campaign SDPI while moderating the panel said that all stakeholders should be consulted and taken on board to build consensus around economic reform package.