KARACHI: Advisor to the Prime Minister on
Finance and Economic Affairs, Shaukat Tareen has emphasised the
generation of maximum revenue by best management and exploring domestic resources, which includes improving the spread
of the tax network, for bridging fiscal deficit.
In a meeting with the business community during his visit to
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry here on
Saturday, the Advisor said the Government has planned to bring down
fiscal deficit to 4.3 percent of GDP from the existing 7.5 % through
various corrective and restructuring steps.
“We should stand on our feet and should not look towards any A
or B for funds. However, whatever we will decide, will be in
the supreme interest of the nation and the country,” he asserted.
The Advisor sought support from the business community of
the country in executing the economic and financial vision of the
He assured that the Government would provide all possible
support and facilitation to the private sector for strengthening
the local investors.
He said due participation of the business community would
be ensured in the process of making plans and policies especially
on the major issues relating to economy.
“Unlike the past, we would be working on comprehensive future
development strategies/ plans including integrated energy plan,”
he said adding that all stakeholders, businessmen, agriculturists,
economists and other professionals would be taken on board.
He announced that Planning Commission of Pakistan would be
restructured and the representatives of FPCCI would be made its
part. This institution would work as an apex think-tank and the
highest authority in the Government.
Shaukat Tareen mentioned that there is a positive relation
between Gross Domestic Production growth and low interest rates.
He was of the view that interest rates should not be more than
a single digit. He also indicated that all developed and fast
growing economies have interest rates not higher than 8 percent.
The Prime Minister's Finance Advisor announced that he will
visit FPCCI next month and subsequently after every three months
along with a team of senior officers from departments like banks
and KESC so that the issues relating to these departments could
be discussed and the solutions are found.
He said he would be meeting with the heads of banks on Monday
and would take up with them also the issues identified by the
He announced to set up a helpline in his Ministry to address
all kinds of complaints from businessmen regarding banks including
the unjustified and abrupt suspension of credit lines to its account
He said the demand and supply gap of electricity in the country
would be narrowed to 1500 MW from 6000 MW within next one or two
months. We have given guarantee to the IPPs to finance their
power generation and hydel power generation would also strengthen in
He said non-core inflation is because of the excess money with
the people. Now, it has started dropping.
When his attention was drawn to decline of oil prices in the
international market, he said the effect would reach the consumers
of oil and electricity in November or December 2008.
He said there should be only two taxes in the country — income tax
and consumption tax.
President FPCCI, Tanvir Ahmed Sheikh emphasised the issues
regarding energy crisis, monetary policy, banking spread, LC
margins and law and order situation.
He said this meeting would help rebuild the confidence of
businessmen, investors and industrialists for the economic prosperity
and sovereignty of the nation.
Vice President FPCCI, Azhar Butt called upon the PM's Advisor
to ensure an end to red-tapism by the bureaucracy.
President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former FPCCI
president Tariq Sayeed complained that the Government functionaries
have no proper liaison with the FPCCI or other trade associations.
He proposed that any Government plan about revenue should be
first discussed with the business community to ensure its