Budget 2022-23: APBF wants consistency in policies, focus on industrialization

By: News Desk
Published: 08:02 PM, 27 May, 2022
Budget 2022-23: APBF wants consistency in policies, focus on industrialization
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With a view to achieve consistency in economic growth of the country, the government will have to take solid measures in the upcoming Federal Budget 2022-23 to strengthen the industry, especially the SMEs, saving the livelihood of millions of workers associated with the small industries. The government will have to make a visible reduction in taxes in the budget to help grow the businesses, particularly the SME sector, as Pakistan needs millions of jobs annually.

These recommendations were put forward by APBF president Syed Maaz Mahmood, in the APBF Board meeting, consisting of various trade and industrial sectors, held here to review the Budget proposals for the upcoming fiscal year of 2022-23, besides discussing serious economic challenges being faced by business community, urging the finance ministry to make focus on greater relief to the documented and registered SMEs. The meeting was also addressed by the APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi while other board members who attended the meeting included Aamir Ata Barry, Amir Munir Malik, Mian Safdar Hussain, Chaudary Muhammad Naeem, Asim Shahzad Sheikh, Naveed Minhas, Dr. Saman Yazdani, Wasim Zakaria, Nadeem Sheikh, Agha Zafar Abbas, Manzoor ul Haq Malik, Irfan Qadri, Laeeq Rana and Mr. Salman.

APBF President briefed the board about the positive initiatives taken by APBF in the last quarter, updating it about enhanced liaison with various countries including Italy, Kazakhstan and Hungary.

Addressing the meeting APBF Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi observed that the successive governments should pursue the same set of objectives and try to maintain consistent policies for a long-term of 10-15 years. The government should focus on the industrial sector in order to take the economy forward. Neglecting the industrial sector at this juncture will further aggravate the balance of payments situation, he added.

Ibrahim Qureshi said that the small and medium enterprises are backbone of the economy and their role was crucial for economic development. He said that major issue of the SMEs is limited access to the financing, as just 5-7% of the total lending to the private sector was being given to them while the number of SME borrowers are below 0.2 million, which should be enhanced.

Ibrahim Qureshi proposed the budget makers to reduce tax rates with a view to widen the tax base and curtail parallel economy, also providing a competitive edge to Pakistan’s products in global markets.

On this occasion, the board also approved the delegations for Hungary, Kazakhstan and Italy, aimed at exploring new business opportunities and joint ventures in respective countries after proper homework.

Syed Maaz Mahmood informed the meeting that the Embassy of Pakistan and the Embassy of Italy, on initiative of the APBF, is going to launch a 24x7 online business platform to promote the bilateral trade and explore the markets of both countries. Same is being planned with Kazakhstan and Pakistan for trade and economic online window, he added.

Unveiling the budget proposals, APBF President said that the Forum has submitted comprehensive proposals for the upcoming federal budget with main objective to bring liberal investment policy, infrastructure development, broadening of tax base and creating jobs through industrialization. The budget proposals were compiled in an unbiased and transparent manner, incorporating feedback received from business community on hosts of sectors from all over the country.

Syed Maaz Mahmood said that mere statements will not work unless the government takes solid measures. A major cut in the key policy rate, regionally competitive energy rates, a sizable reduction in fuel prices and relaxation in duties & taxes are need of the hour.

“Instead of importing raw materials, we should ourselves create them through R&D and then add value in it to export it to international markets. It'll increase the revenue and make a self reliant Pakistan. Moreover, fluctuating cost of raw material is a major hurdle in low exports. Govt should control and maintain the prices of goods for minimum six months especially the utilities, customs tariffs etc.”

The budget proposals stressed that instead of importing goods like mobile phone, electrical appliances etc, govt should encourage the foreign companies to set up its manufacturing units in Pakistan, besides the govt friendly policies for industries should be planned so that current industries diversify for other line of products that will be made in Pakistan. New ways of earnings through exports should be created with B2B, JV and technology transfer.

Pakistan is an agricultural country but unfortunately agricultural machinery sector has always been neglected. Advancement in this sector will increase our country productivity. “We should find the new opportunities in other markets and adopt the successful business model of other countries.”

Categories : Business