Budget 2011-12 to focus on economic stabilization and self-reliance: Dr. Hafeez Shaikh


Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has organized a pre-budget seminar in collaboration with Khabrain Media Group and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

Mahfooz Elahi, President ICCI, expressing his views, said that Pakistan is facing multiple internal and external challenges as Pakistan’s total debt has doubled and fiscal deficit was growing at fast pace, the Government should take proactive measures in consultation with the business community. He said that new Budget should be growth-oriented, adding that, government needs to set realistic targets for achieving sustainable development.

He said that we need to think out of box, major cut in non-development budget was much needed, also Pakistan should focus on infrastructure development and construction of water reservoirs and dams to address energy problems.

He said that government has to take business community on board in the budget-making process and consultation should be meaningful. Fair and equitable tax policies were essential for revamping tax collection system and pulling the economy out of mounting debt, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Federal Finance Minister said that the Government was mulling to ensure equitable taxation in the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2011-12 and transparency would be restored in taxation system. He said reforms have been introduced in FBR to plug the leakages and improve the refund system. He said about 700,000 people in the country have been identified which have more than one bank account and have travelled extensively. He said 46000 cheques worth Rs.40 billion were issued in refunds against 14000 cheques worth Rs.14 billion in same period last year.

He said that development budget would be increased by 58 percent in the next fiscal year. The Government was striving to control the inflation rate, Dr. Hafeez said and added that government expenditure has been frozen at last year’s level besides reducing the size of the cabinet.

Dr. Farooq Sattar, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis said that the people were hoping for a non-traditional budget which could bring revolutionary changes in their lives. He said that the government should regain the confidence of the people through the upcoming budget by making it people friendly. He said that all the taxable income should be taxed and disparities between direct and indirect taxes need to be removed.

Speaking on the occasion, Abdullah Yousuf, Former Chairman FBR said that we need to focus on growth strategy and exploit the full potential which was imperative to lead the country towards sustainable economic development. He further said that effective monitoring system have to be practiced for financing fiscal deficit resulted from circular debt and IPP loans.

Fazal Elahi, Acting President FPCCI said that all the exemptions should be withdrawn and Government should bring more people into tax net. He said that Government should provide special incentives to industrial units of Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa and FATA.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk