Corona is playing its game all over the world and has bowled out the strongest economies of the world. Corona is also travelling to Pakistan and its strong impact is going to shake the nation and the present team of rulers. The new setup of the present Government is already under a great stress due to stagnant economy and also due to wrong deeds of anti Pakistan economic policies by previous rulers.
It is a fact that the present Government did get the bus without a driving seat and the senior management team of the present rulers are the old players and major part of previous machinery. These so called senior managers never gave the correct recipe to repair the health of the economy and finally the Government was forced to go begging IMF and to accept their bitter pill of conditional ties without any fault of the present Government except for the fact that the Government took longer period and delayed their decisions which accumulated more losses.
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Keeping in view the situation of Corona Virus impact all over the world the rich nations are funding their economies to remain operative and survive these bad times. In fact, they are investing to save their nations from hunger, unemployment and closure of industries.
What we must do:
- Government must pump in 5 to 6 billion dollars as survival kit and get it from some overseas bankers at a low markup of 3 to 4 percent.
- Impress upon IMF to re-negotiate the tax targets and continue to expand the tax base.
- Government and FBR must start dialogue with IMF for a time frame to improve and develop the capability of FBR to finalize resources with extended time limit otherwise FBR will continue to force the existing tax payers who are already over burden.
- Commercial banks must be authorized to make the payment of rebates to their customers /exporters upon realization of their export proceeds.
- Launch a Corona fund to bail out the borrowers of the satisfactory track record of business houses.
- Special and meaningful protection by Government and SBP may be provided to already ailing industries.
- LC margin @100 from certain industries and importers will over burden the industry and the production in the present circumstances therefore, to avoid the curtail in production some suitable measures may be provided to the export oriented industries for the import of raw materials.
- Solid promise of the Government of Pakistan to release the tax refunds an rebate is not visible and the hard earn money of industries is laying with the Government without a reason, it may be the best time to return these amounts to save the closure of industry and unemployment.
- Automatic system to pay back sale tax refunds is still a dream and nothing is done.
- Cut in world oil prices is a gift and its trickledown effect must go to industry for the improvement of their products & enhance their production capacities to enhance exports.
- GSP plus revalidation must be cashed and orders of other Corona hit countries may be captured and completed to regain the economic strength and self-reliance.
- We may also explore to add more items beside textile to avail the full benefits of GSP Plus. We must improve this process step by step and add more exports of various items so that we may catch up a billion dollars target.
- Government must declare and approve more tax credit to those who are forced to lay off and working less hours. This is also going to be a very strong for policy makers to take up this issue with IMF to renegotiate soft terms.
- Overseas home remittances through commercial banks may be subject to 3% to 4% dividend for a possible jump in remittances up to 200% to 30%.
We must believe that world is not going to be the same as it was completely changed after 9/11 and this present scenario is going to be a new world order of 2020 for which we must react as a nation and accept challenges for the safety of Pakistan.
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Ambassador: Rehmatullah Javed
Founder Secretary General (SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry)