ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said his government’s foremost priority was to run the economic system on sustainable basis, which would help create job opportunities, enhance investors’ confidence and promote local industry.
He expressed these views while chairing a meeting of the government’s economic team here, during which matters relating to the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), revival of sick industrial units and incentives to the construction sector were discussed in detail.
Federal ministers Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Umar Ayub, Hamad Azhar and Muhammadmian Soomro, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor on Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, special assistants Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Yusuf Baig Mirza and Shaukat Tareen, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi, Board of Investment (BOI) chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman and senior officers attended the meeting.
Regarding the revival of sick industrial units, the prime minister was informed that a total of 687 sick units were in such a state which could immediately be revived through some measures.
The meeting was told that the revival of such units was possible through the public-private partnership.
The prime minister directed that the process of legislation and administrative reforms required for the revival of sick units should be finalized within 60 days under a comprehensive planning.
Regarding the promotion of SMEs, the meeting was apprised of the challenges and problems faced by the SMEs, including investment, lack of modern technology, shortage of skilled manpower, legislative issues, reforms in SMEDA (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority) and lack of research.
In this respect, the prime minister said the private sector should be involved in the promotion of SMEs and ease of doing business should be ensured so that investors could invest in that area without any problem and hesitation.
Priority should be given to small industrial units at local level to create job opportunities, he added.
The prime minister directed to present within a week a complete plan of action, including the time-bound targets for the promotion of SMEs.
Regarding the provision of incentives to the construction sector, the meeting was told that the tax incentives would soon be offered to the relevant industries in this sector.
About the sales tax for steel and cement industries, the prime minister directed the Advisor on Finance to finalize a strategy in coordination with the FBR, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority and provincial governments, and present a report in that respect by the next week.
The prime minister stressed for regular meetings with the economic team so that enhanced inter-ministerial coordination was ensured.